Border Clash with Pakistan Denied

Border Clash with Pakistan Denied
Border Clash with Pakistan Denied

A border police official denied reports that Pakistani and Iranian forces have exchanged mortar fire across the border.

Brigadier General Rohambakhsh Habibi, border police commander in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, said on Friday, "No clashes have taken place between Iranian and Pakistani military forces on the frontier," the Fars news agency reported. Local Pakistani media had earlier reported that Pakistani and Iranian forces traded mortar fire across the border.

 Pakistan's frontier police had claimed that Iran fired six mortar shells, which landed near the border town of Mashkail. Pakistan reportedly fired back.  The alleged incident came after Pakistani officials pledged to beef up security along the common border to halt terrorist attacks on Iranian border guards in a meeting between security officials of the two countries in Tehran on Wednesday.    

Over the past weeks, a number of Iranian police personnel and border guards have lost their lives in separate terrorist attacks in Sistan and Baluchestan Province which borders Pakistan.

Iran has a 300 kilometer-long stretch of joint border with Pakistan. There has been a spate of terrorist attacks in recent years with gunmen crossing the porous border with Pakistan.

Last year, Tehran and Islamabad signed a security agreement under which both countries are required to cooperate in preventing and combating organized crime, fighting terrorism, and countering the activities that pose a threat to national security of either country.

However, Iranian officials have criticized Islamabad for not taking adequate action to prevent terrorist groups from using its soil as an operation base against Iran and prevent them from crossing the border.  Iran has even hinted it may be forced to enter into Pakistani territory “to confront terrorists.”

On Friday, Ahmad Shouhani, member of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said “It seems Pakistan does not have the power and willingness to combat terrorists and smugglers … as Pakistani officials and military have other pressing concerns.”

He added “Tehran is determined to deal with those groups and clean up the border… we will take any steps necessary in this regard,” ICANA reported.