Pakistan army chief sees better military ties with Iran

Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa says his country’s cooperation with Iran has strengthened and will continue to enhance regional security.

“The situation will improve in the future,” Bajwa told Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan in the army’s general headquarters in the western Pakistani city of Rawalpindi on Saturday.

“I am positive that security and military cooperation with Iran will improve the situation on the common border,” he added.

Over the past years, the border area has witnessed several attacks targeting the countries’ security forces, with the Iranian border guards paying the highest toll.

Most recently, six Pakistani soldiers were killed when a paramilitary convoy came under attack by gunmen during a routine patrol in the mountainous district of Kech.

Earlier this year, 12 Iranian border guards were abducted near the town of Mirjaveh in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province and taken into Pakistan in April. Five of the guards have been released last month, but the rest remain in captivity, despite Pakistan’s repeated promises to have them freed.

In the deadliest incident, 11 Iranian border guards were killed in an ambush claimed by the Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group near Mirjaveh in April 2017, with the assailants fleeing into Pakistan after the attack.

Iran says it reserves the right to pursue such attackers back into neighboring countries. It announced full preparedness for joint anti-terror operations with Pakistan after terrorists killed the Pakistani troops recently.

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