Pakistan to fence border with Iran: Foreign minister

Samaa – Pakistan will be fencing its 950 kilometre-long border with Iran to maintain security and peace, says Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

An alliance has come forward by the name of BRA, said Qureshi. He was speaking to the media in Islamabad on Saturday This alliance has taken responsibility for the terror attack on the Makran Coastal Highway in Ormara, a remote area in Balochistan, which claimed the lives of 14 passengers on April 18 after offloading them from passenger buses.

Mohsin Hassan Butt, inspector-general of the Balochistan police, had said that around 15 to 20 gunmen wearing camouflage uniforms stopped up to six passenger buses travelling between Gwadar and Karachi and shot 14 passengers dead.

Qureshi said these gunmen were from the BRA which was based in Iran. The trading and logistical camps of this new alliance are based in Iran. “We have shared actionable evidence with Iran and taken them into confidence over the matter,” said Qureshi.

The locations of the camps have been shared with Iran, he said, hoping that Iran – a brother country of Pakistan – takes action against the BRA. He also appealed to Afghanistan to take action as the alliance is also present there.

“We hope they will help us like we have helped them,” he said.

The foreign minister said that Pakistan possesses specific forensic evidence that can be shared to trace these “criminals.”

Qureshi spoke with Iranian Foreign Minister Javed Zarif before the press conference and shared the sentiments and concerns of the Pakistani people with him. Zarif, Qureshi said, reassured him that Iran will trace the terrorists and help Pakistan in whatever way it can.

Zarif thinks this was an attack on the security of Pakistan, Qureshi said.

“It was a confirmed that the attack of targeted killing and the victims were identified via their Computerized National Identity Cards (CNICs). They were shot dead at point blank range,” said a police officer.

He said PM Imran Khan will be speaking to Iranian officials about the placement of certain mechanisms to avoid such incidents in the future on his two-day visit to Iran. PM Khan leaves for his maiden visit to Iran tomorrow.

He also talked about six steps that are expected to be taken for stability at the Pak-Iran border. They include, the establishment of a command headquarters at Turbat to man the border, creation of a new Frontier Corps to monitor the border, creation of joint border centres to maintain peace, the fencing of the 950 kilometre-long border to keep it peaceful, synchronisation of border patrolling and exercises between the two countries and the establishment of a heli-service.

He said the fencing of the border will be a costly exercise, especially under the current economic circumstances, but it has been started.