Iranian Missile Attack Sparks Strong Condemnation from Pakistan

Iran initiated a missile strike targeting alleged militant bases in western Pakistan, resulting in the tragic deaths of two children, according to officials in Islamabad.

Iranian missiles recently targeted Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria.
Iranian missiles recently targeted Pakistan, Iraq, and Syria.

The operation focused on two locations in Balochistan associated with the militant group Jaish al-Adl, as reported by Iran’s state TV. This attack followed Iran’s recent strikes in Iraq and Syria.

Pakistani authorities confirmed the loss of two children’s lives and injuries to three others. Islamabad condemned the attack, labeling it as “illegal” and warning of “serious consequences.”

However, Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, denied targeting Pakistani nationals, asserting that only members of Jaish al-Adl were affected.

This incident occurred amid heightened tensions in the Middle East, with conflicts between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. Iran, part of the “Axis of Resistance,” consisting of groups like the Houthi militants and Hezbollah, has been carrying out attacks in solidarity with the Palestinians.

China urged both Pakistan and Iran to show restraint and avoid actions leading to an escalation of tension. Iran’s recent actions, possibly driven by retaliatory motives, underscore its determination to hold those it deems responsible accountable.

The strike in Pakistan specifically targeted a village in Balochistan, aiming at Jaish al-Adl, an ethnic Baloch Sunni Muslim group involved in attacks both within Iran and against Pakistani government forces.

Iran’s recent domestic attack in Kerman, ballistic missile strikes in Syria and northern Iraq, and now targeting its nuclear-armed neighbor, Pakistan, represent a dramatic escalation. Pakistan, expressing outrage, highlighted the existence of communication channels between the countries. In response, Islamabad recalled its ambassador to Iran, and the Iranian ambassador is not allowed back into the country for the time being.

Pak-Iran boundary.
Pak-Iran boundary.

Pakistan and Iran maintain a nuanced yet friendly relationship. The recent attack coincided with a meeting between Pakistan’s Prime Minister and Iran’s Foreign Minister in Davos, and concurrent naval exercises in the Gulf.

However, both nations have long accused each other of harboring militant groups conducting border-area attacks.

Security along the 900km shared border has been a persistent concern for both governments. The Iranian strike reportedly targeted Sabz Koh village, 45km from the Iranian border and 90km from Panjgur, described as a sparsely populated region inhabited by Baloch tribes engaged in smuggling goods, drugs, and weapons.

Zaigham Khan, a security commentator, highlighted that people on both sides of the border feel deprived, face discrimination, and demand a fair share of resources.

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Within Iran, the Sunni Muslim Baloch minority complains of discrimination in the Shia Muslim-majority state, while Baloch separatist groups continue insurgent movements against the Pakistani government.

Jaish al-Adl, recognized as the “most active and influential” Sunni militant group in Sistan-Baluchestan by the US Director of National Intelligence, is designated as a terrorist group by both Washington and Tehran.

Aamir Rana, a security commentator in Pakistan, anticipates that the diplomatic crisis may take time to ease but emphasizes Pakistan’s reluctance to escalate. He suggests that, historically, Pakistan has not strongly reacted to Iran’s actions, and the resolution now depends on Iran’s response.

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  • AYAN ZEESHAN

    An accomplished journalist boasting a decade of expertise, Ayan Zeeshan excels in the meticulous exploration, thorough research, and compelling presentation of news. Renowned for his perceptive analyses and unwavering dedication to journalistic ethics, he has made significant contributions to several esteemed publications. Going beyond the confines of traditional journalism, Ayan Zeeshan is a fervent advocate for staying well-informed and actively involving global audiences, viewing his role not just as a profession but also as a personal mission.

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