Pakistan has promised to boost security cooperation with Iran, saying that the two neighboring countries are considering fencing the common border to keep terrorists in check.
“We both are considering fencing the border so that no third party could sabotage the brotherly and friendly relations through any nefarious act,” Army spokesperson and director-general of Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) Major General Asif Gafoor said.
Islamabad plans to fence 950 kilometers of the border linking Pakistan’s Balochistan Province with Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Pakistani media quoted him as saying.
Gafoor’s comments came days after a terrorist attack originating from inside the borders of Pakistan killed 27 members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Iran.
On February 13, a bomber identified by the IRGC as Pakistani national Hafiz Mohammad Ali slammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a bus carrying off-duty IRGC members in Sistan and Baluchestan.
The Pakistan-based Jaish ul-Adl Takfiri terrorist group, which has ties to al-Qaeda and the Al Saud regime, claimed responsibility.
Several attacks by Pakistan-based terrorist groups have in the past targeted Iranian security forces. Iran has always complained that Pakistan is not serious in confronting the terrorists.
But the latest attack appeared to be the final straw, with several Iranian officials warning that their patience with Islamabad was wearing thin.
Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has said Pakistan should be held accountable for the attack. IRGC chief Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari doubled down on that, urging Islamabad to change its policy toward Jaish ul-Adl instead of sheltering the terrorists.
Chief of Staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri has said a “fiery revenge” awaits Jaish ul-Adl and other terrorist groups funded by regional Arab regimes such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Iran says it is pressuring Pakistan to secure its borders and prevent terrorist groups operating from its soil to cross into Iran.
In order to allay Iran’s concerns, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Quraishi immediately sent a high-level delegation to Tehran to provide assurance of a thorough investigation and all-out cooperation in hunting down the culprits.
Pakistani media also said the country is keen to address the issue, particularly at a time when India and Afghanistan are blaming it for orchestrating attacks against them.
The attack in Iran coincided with a terrorist bombing in Indian-controlled Kashmir which left more than 40 troops dead, plunging rocky relations between the nuclear-armed neighbors to a new low.