ISLAMABAD: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif called Pakistan’s Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi to discuss the abduction of 14 Iranian guards near the Pakistan-Iran border area of Mirjaveh on Tuesday.
Iranian media had reported on Monday quoting an Iranian official saying that the servicemen had been captured by terrorists from the Lulakdan border area in the country’s southeast.
Lulakdan is a small village in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchistan, a region regularly targeted by separatist militants and drug smuggling gangs.
According to Iranian media, the abductors were members of an identified terrorist group.
Seven of them were members of the Basij volunteer paramilitary force, five were regular border guards and two were members of the Revolutionary Guards.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, during the telephonic conversation with his Iranian counterpart, expressed serious concern over the incident and briefed Zarif about the active efforts launched by the Pakistani law enforcement agencies to ascertain the whereabouts of the missing Iranian guards, in coordination with the Iranian military and intelligence teams.
It was noted that the directors general of military operations of both the countries were in close contact to coordinate the search and rescue efforts including enhanced air surveillance and troops deployment in the border area where the incident took place.
Foreign Minister Qureshi said that such incidents were the handy work of common enemies unhappy with the close and friendly relations between Pakistan and Iran.
Reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment of not allowing anyone to succeed in such malicious efforts, FM Qureshi noted that Pakistan and Iran have traditionally shared a ‘border of peace and friendship’ which would be maintained in the same spirit.
Thanking Qureshi, the Iranian foreign minister underscored Iran’s desire to overcome all hurdles jointly with Pakistan in maintaining complete peace along the Pakistan-Iran border.