Iranian envoy urges accelerated set-up of direct military hotline with Pakistan

FNA – Iran’s Ambassador to Islamabad Mehdi Honardoust underlined the necessity for the rapid establishment of a military hotline with Pakistan after the recent terrorist incident which killed 9 Iranian border guards.

“Given the 960-km-long land border and the recent border happenings and incidents, it is necessary that the direct hotline between the two countries will be set up more rapidly,” Honardoust said on Wednesday.

He referred to the last week visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif to Islamabad, and said during his meeting with the Pakistani political, military, security and police officials, Zarif called for more efforts to control the bordering areas.

According to Honardoust, Iran’s top diplomat also stressed the need for the freedom of the Iranian border guard who has been held captive by the terrorists in Pakistan.

During his last week visit to Islamabad, Zarif said that Iran and Pakistan are due to set up a direct military hotline between the two countries’ armies to immediately get informed of incidents at their common borders.

He made the remarks after a meeting with Pakistani Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Rawalpindi last Wednesday.

Late last month, nine Iranian border guards were killed and two others injured in clashes near the Iranian town of Mirjaveh near the border with Pakistan. The Jeish ul-Adl terrorist group in a statement claimed responsibility for the attack.

After the incident, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani asked Pakistani Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif to immediately prosecute the perpetrators of the terrorist attack.

The Iranian president in his message voiced deep regret and concern over the terrorist attacks launched from Pakistan on the Iranian territory.

“The Iranian territory has never been invaded by its neighbors, including Pakistan, but regrettably lack of appropriate measures and necessary prosecution on the part of Pakistani government has caused great loss of lives and property for the Islamic Republic of Iran,” President Rouhani said in his message.

Also, on Monday, Chief of Staff of the Iran’s Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri warned that the country will launch attacks against terrorists’ hideouts in Pakistan if they continue aggression and killing of the Iranian border guards.

“Unfortunately, the regions adjacent to Iran’s Eastern borders have turned into a shelter and place for training, preparing and equipping the terrorists who are mercenaries of Saudi Arabia and are supported by the US,” General Baqeri said in Tehran.

Stressing that Iran cannot bear such situation anymore, he said that the Pakistani officials are expected to tighten control over their borders, arrest and extradite the terrorists to Iran and close their bases in Pakistan.

“If the aggressions continue, the terrorists’ shelters and hideouts will come under (our) crushing attack anywhere they are,” General Baqeri warned.