TEHRAN (FNA)- The border guards abducted along Iran-Pakistan border on February 6 are surely being kept in Pakistan, a senior Iranian legislator said, blasting Islamabad officials’ attempts to shirk the responsibility for finding and releasing them.
“Certainly the 5 kidnapped Iranian border guards are being kept in Pakistani territories unless they have been transferred to another place through coordination with the Pakistanis,” Vice-Chairman of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mansour Haqiqatpour told the parliament’s news website on Saturday.
He lambasted the Pakistani foreign ministry spokeswoman for trying to shirk responsibility for finding and releasing the five Iranian border guards from the terrorists’ hands, and said Islamabad should be blamed for sheltering the terrorist groups.
“Still worse is that the Pakistani foreign ministry spokeswoman says she doesn’t know where the 5 Iranian border guards are kept and doesn’t know what is happening in her country’s territory,” Haqiqatpour said.
Five Iranian border guards were abducted in Jakigour region of Iran’s Sistan-and Balouchestan Province on February 6 and taken to Pakistani territory.
The so-called Jeish al-Adl terrorist group claimed responsibility for the abductions.
The outlawed terrorist group Jeish al-Adl released a photo of the kidnapped border guards on its Tweeter page and claimed the responsibility for their abduction on February 8. Earlier reports had said that the abducted soldiers had been transferred to Pakistan which has a long border with Iran in the Southeastern parts of the country.On February 11, Iran called on Pakistani officials to arrest and extradite the members of the terrorist Jeish al-Adl group who are responsible for the recent abduction of the five Iranian border guards.
“Unfortunately, we are witnessing the abduction of 5 Iranian border guards by the terrorist groups,” Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham said in her weekly press conference in Tehran at the time.
Afkham elaborated on the measures taken by Iran in pursuit of the fate of the 5 border guards, and said Tehran’s officials have made visits to Pakistan, summoned Islamabad’s ambassador to Tehran to the foreign ministry and called for the country’s serious acts to control the border regions.
“We also want them to identify the abductors of the border guards and extradite them to the Iranian officials and we are ready to cooperate with Pakistan to establish security at the borders and fight outlawed and terrorist groups in Pakistan,” she underlined.
On February 9, Iran’s Police Chief Brigadier General Esmayeel Ahmadi Moqaddam voiced concern over the presence of terrorist groups in Pakistan’s territories, and underlined that Iran’s police along with the Foreign Ministry are resolved to do their best to clear the fate of the five Iranian guards abducted at the Iran-Pakistan border.
Ahmadi Moqaddam criticized the performance of the Pakistani government and its border police in the joint border region.
The Islamic Republic has asked Interpol to prosecute those behind the abduction.Meanwhile, Iranian and international activists have launched a campaign known as “Free Iranian Soldiers” on social media websites, calling for the release of the five Iranian border guards.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has called for an investigation into the incident, tasking the Foreign Ministry with taking the necessary measures to implement a border security agreement with Pakistan.
Iran has repeatedly called on Pakistan to comply with the terms of the agreement.
On February 15, Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli held Pakistan accountable for the kidnapping of the five Iranian border guards.
On October 25, 2013, Jaish-ul-Adl killed 14 Iranian border guards and wounded six others in the border region near the city of Saravan in Sistan and Balouchestan.
In February 2013, Iran and Pakistan signed a security agreement under which both countries are required to cooperate in preventing and combating organized crime, fighting terrorism and countering the activities that pose a threat to the national security of either country.
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