Escalation of Tensions Between Iran and Pakistan: Retaliatory Strikes Reported
In a significant escalation of tensions between Iran and Pakistan, retaliatory strikes have been reported from Pakistan’s side following Iran’s airstrike in Pakistan’s Balochistan. The reported retaliatory strikes targeted seven bases of a separatist organization in Iran’s Sarwan area. Unofficial reports suggest that an Iranian colonel was killed in the retaliatory action.
While Pakistan has not officially announced the strikes, it is reported that the attack occurred within 40-50 kilometers of the Iranian border, according to Pakistani journalist Salman Masood. The conflict intensified after Iran’s missile and drone attack in Pakistan’s Balochistan, prompting a response from Pakistan.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Amir Abdullahiyan communicated with Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, asserting that the attack targeted an Iranian terrorist organization and did not cause harm to any Pakistani citizens. In response, Jilani emphasized that resorting to such a dangerous path is not advisable, asserting Pakistan’s right to respond to Iran’s initial attack. The situation remains tense, and official statements from both countries are awaited.
India and US React to Iran-Pakistan Escalation
In response to the escalating tensions between Iran and Pakistan, both India and the United States have issued statements.
- Pakistan recalled its ambassador from Tehran and expelled the Iranian ambassador from the country after the attack.
- Meetings were held at Pakistan’s Army Headquarters in Rawalpindi, with Army Chief General Asim Munir summoning all commanders.
- India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, Randhir Jaiswal, stated that if a country takes steps for its security, India can understand its position.
- Emphasized that the matter is between Pakistan and Iran, and while India respects their concerns, it has consistently maintained a stance of no compromise on terrorism.
- The United States criticized Iran’s actions, labeling the strike as wrong.
- State Department spokesman Matthew Miller highlighted Iran’s violation of the sovereignty of three neighboring countries in recent days.
China Urges De-escalation Between Pakistan and Iran
China has urged both Pakistan and Iran to avoid escalating tensions, emphasizing that such escalation would be detrimental to both nations. China, as a key player in the region, holds considerable influence over both countries.
- SCO Membership: Pakistan and Iran are both members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), a regional alliance that includes China. As SCO partners, maintaining stability and cooperation in the region is essential.
- Trade Relations: Both Pakistan and Iran are significant trading partners for China. Escalating tensions could disrupt economic ties, impacting all parties involved.
Military Movements and Unrest:
- Reports indicate that Iran has increased its military presence along the border, anticipating potential retaliation from Pakistan. The increased tensions are already having consequences, as evidenced by the killing of a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the southeastern province.
China’s Diplomatic Influence:
- China’s call for de-escalation underscores its role as a diplomatic mediator in the region. China has strategic interests in promoting stability and cooperation among its neighboring countries.
As the situation evolves, the international community, including China, is likely to play a crucial role in mitigating tensions and facilitating dialogue between Pakistan and Iran.
In response to Iran’s attack, Pakistan strongly protested and engaged in political and military discussions. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared a robust objection and initiated actions, including recalling its ambassador from Tehran and asking the Iranian ambassador to leave Pakistan. Pakistan accused Iran of committing a provocative act and violating international law. It announced the freezing of all ongoing dialogues with Iran and indicated its intention to file a complaint with the UN. Pakistan emphasized its right and ability to respond, placing responsibility on the Iranian government.
The Pakistani government has imposed a ban on media coverage of the recent attack by Iran in two parts of Balochistan, following the death of two children and injuries to three girls in missile and drone strikes. The ban includes a prohibition on journalists entering the affected areas. This move is reminiscent of Pakistan’s previous restrictions on media coverage, such as during the aftermath of India’s airstrike in Balakot. Despite the ban, some individuals expressed concerns about tensions and dangers at various borders, including Afghanistan’s closure of two routes and the strained relations with India. The situation is being closely monitored by the military and government.