ISLAMABAD: A high-level delegation of the Iranian army, led by Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander of Iranian Ground Forces Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, arrived here late Monday night to further discuss with their Pakistani counterparts the investigation into the 14 kidnapped Iranian border guards.
The visit comes on heels of a telephonic conversation between Iranian Army Chief Major-General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri and Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on October 20. During the conversation, Gen Bagheri had requested Pakistan’s support for the immediate arrest of the kidnappers of Iranian guards.
This would be the highest military delegation visiting Pakistan after a lull. Formal consultations between the commanders from both the countries would commence on Tuesday.
The visiting delegation also includes the Commander of IRGC Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari.
“Referring to the efforts made by the IRGC on releasing Iranian border guards, the IRGC spokesman Brigadier General Ramazan Sharif said the IRGC has made especial and urgent efforts for releasing Iranian kidnapped forces and confronting the terrorists supported by foreign spy organizations since the beginning of the accident,” the Iranian state news agency, IRNA, reported.
During the trip, Pakpour is supposed to investigate issues related to the release of Iranian border guards, to discuss taking joint and firm measures against terrorism, and maintaining sustainable border security with Pakistan military and security officials, the IRGC spokesman noted.
Jafari heads the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, a full-blown army of some 300,000 personnel (not counting reservists). The IRGC is the most powerful element in the regime’s security forces, running everything from the country’s missile systems to the Basij militia, whose hundreds of thousands of young men enforce domestic order and have been at the forefront of attacks against those protesting the election result.
Fourteen Basij (volunteer forces) and border guard forces were abducted by terrorists in Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan border with Pakistan on October 15 morning, an informed source said earlier.
Earlier, media reports claimed that a Sunni militant group has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of 12 Iranian guards close to the country’s border with Pakistan.
“The terrorist group Jaish al-Adl has posted two photos… claiming that those in it are the forces abducted on Oct 16,” ISNA reported.
Moreover, Iran’s foreign minister said that the issue of abduction of Iranian border guards, as well as measures to be taken, have been discussed with Pakistani officials.