Pakistan’s response to Iran a clear message to India, entire region: PM

General National

    • Iran took “illogical” step despite having active communication channels: PM
    • Entire nation supported Islamabad’s stiff response to Tehran: Kakar.
    • Iran killed citizens but Pakistan eliminated miscreants in retaliative move.

    Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has stressed that Pakistan has “definitely given a clear message to the entire region including India” through its response to Iranian airspace violation.

    “[After the airspace violation,] Pakistan has left with no option other than responding to Iran. The response has definitely had a message for India too and the entire region too,” the premier said while speaking to a private news channel on Thursday.

    After Iran launched a surprise attack in Balochistan claiming to target a militant outfit last week, Pakistan’s military targeted terrorist hideouts inside the Iranian border on January 18.

    Pakistan’s retaliation, however, killed a number of terrorists during the intelligence-based operation — codenamed “Marg Bar Sarmachar”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said in a statement.

    Iran’s attack, which Pakistan’s Foreign Office termed “unprovoked and “unacceptable”, left two children dead and injured three girls, stating that it violated the country’s sovereignty.

    PM Kakar gave credit to Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Syed Asim Munir for Islamabad’s response to Tehran. “Despite the prevailing political crisis, the entire nation supported the reaction.”

    “It was a difficult decision to make as we are very clear to immediately respond to such action from India. In this case, Pakistan has no border conflict with Iran. The whole world was looking towards Pakistan to see how we react to such violations.”

    The premier bluntly said: “Iran took a wrong step, so we responded, otherwise, we would have been chosen to stay silent. I still couldn’t find a logical reason behind Tehran’s move in the presence of active communication channels.”

    Amid heightening Pak-Iran tensions, the premier said that he deliberately avoided releasing a statement despite being pressed by many people. “I didn’t release a statement as the next response would be our true expression.”

    He also reiterated: “In the Iranian attack, our citizens were killed. On the other hand, Pakistan eliminated miscreants in his retaliative move.”

    To a question about avoiding such actions, PM Kakar urged both countries to activate all intelligence and military channels to further stabilise the Pak-Iran border situation.

    The situation is now returning to normalcy after Islamabad and Tehran mutually agreed that ambassadors of both countries will return to their respective posts by January 26.

    Moreover, the Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian will also undertake a visit to Pakistan on January 29 at the invitation of caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani.

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