File photo of Pak-Iran border Taftan

Syed Ali Shah:

QUETTA: Panic and fear have gripped the rugged mountains at the Pak-Iran border in the aftermath of an Iranian missile attack that targeted a village approximately 40 kilometers from the border in the Panjgur district of Balochistan province in Pakistan.

According to a senior police official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to lack of authorization, Iranian forces fired missiles at a house in Sabz Koh village, claiming to have targeted a militant camp operated by the Sunni militant group Jaish ul Adl. However, Pakistani authorities have refuted these claims, asserting that militants do not keep women and children in their camps.

Militants Do Not Keep Women, Children In Camp: Officials

The consequences of the attack were tragic, as rockets landed at a residential house, resulting in the death of two children and injuring four others, including a woman. Saeed Ahmed Umrani, the Commissioner Mekran Division, emphasized the contradiction in Iranian claims, stating that women and children cannot be housed in a militant camp.

Residents of the area, which is known for its dual-nationality population moving between Iran and Pakistan, expressed concerns about the indiscriminate attack. Most of the people in the region have ties to both countries, and they frequently use less-traveled routes for routine movement.

Videos circulating on social media depict locals rushing to the site of the attack, with thick black smoke rising, though the authenticity of the footage is yet to be verified.

Iranians Fired Rockets In The Past

This incident is not the first time Iran has breached Pakistani territory, with Iranian border guards firing rockets in Balochistan province over the last two decades. The relationship between the two nations has been strained by accusations from Pakistani authorities that Iran harbors Baloch separatist groups responsible for attacks in Gwadar and Mekran Balochistan.

Despite joint efforts through a border commission aimed at addressing concerns related to the 900-kilometer-long border, the Iranian strike occurred just a day after senior officials from both nations met to discuss issues of terrorism, trade, and bilateral relations. A senior Pakistani security officer, part of the joint border meeting, expressed disappointment, stating that the sudden Iranian attack overshadowed the positive outcomes of the meeting.

Iran Attack In Violation Of Established Diplomatic Channels

As tensions rise following this unprovoked incident, questions loom about the future of Pak-Iran relations and the impact on the security and stability of the border region. The international community is closely monitoring developments, and concerns are being raised over Iran’s actions in violation of the established diplomatic channels.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.