January 18, 2021

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Pakistan Army says in touch with Iran on abducted border guards issue

During a press conference with local and foreign media at the Pakistan Army headquarters in Rawalpindi on Monday, Director General (DG) of the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar gave a comprehensive review of the army’s efforts in the security domain, the plan to fence border with Iran and the presence of ISIS in the region.

“We are in contact with the Iranian authorities and this connection has always existed,” he said while responding to a question of IRNA correspondent regarding country’s efforts to recover three abducted Iranian border guards.

“As far as Pakistan-Iran cooperation is concerned in the military domain and the security domain it has always been there and we always have established contacts as it is a mutual thing,” he said.

Expressing his views, Major General Babar Iftikhar said there is no problem as far as Pakistan-Iran security contacts are concerned. “We are absolutely on board and we have very good relations with Iran,” he said.

In response to another question from an IRNA correspondent about ISIS’s disturbing activities in the region and the recent incident in Pakistan’s Balochistan, where ISIS terrorists claimed responsibility of the brutal killing of a group of Hazara miners, he said Pakistani government and army have shared dossiers with international organizations about recruiting for ISIS in Pakistan and supporting the group.

“There is an external support to make Deash wing in Pakistan to do different activities. We assure you that their presence is not much,” he added.

DG ISPR added there are some splinter groups which use their name to gather some credibility. “We are taking care of that and they will not be able to establish any permanent footprint over here the way our operation in going on,” he stated.

In another part of his briefing today, Maj Gen Iftikhar said border terminals, scanners, posts and fencing had been utilised to cut down security threats.

“More than 83% of the Pak-Afghan border has been fenced, and more than 37% of the Pak-Iran border has been fenced which will be completed by the end of this year,” he said.

He noted these measures have led to improved revenue collection and reduced smuggling, as well as a marked reduction in terrorist and bombing incidents.

Iran’s Border Guard Commander Brigadier General Qasem Rezaei during a visit to Sistan-Baluchestan last December told reporters that Pakistani border guards have very good cooperation with the border guards of the Islamic Republic of Iran, but this cooperation needs to be increased.

He added cooperation between the border guards of Pakistan and the border guards of Iran should be increased at high levels in order to fully ensure the complete security of the southeastern borders of the country.

During his 11th official visit to Pakistan in November last year, Foreign Minister of Iran said that Iran is satisfied with the actions of Pakistan and its army to ensure security and guard the common borders.

This was Mohammad Javad Zarif’s fourth visit to Pakistan since Imran Khan’s government came into power in 2018.

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Original News : https://en.irna.ir/news/84182127/Pakistan-Army-says-in-touch-with-Iran-on-abducted-border-guards

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