QUETTA: Pakistan on Friday assured Iran that it would make all possible efforts for the recovery of five kidnapped Iranian border guards.
Unknown militants abducted five Iranian border guards in Jakigour region in the Iranian province of Sistan-Balochistan on February 6 and allegedly took them across the border to Pakistan. Later, a Sunni- militant group Jaish ul Adl claimed responsibility for the abductions.
“Pakistan will strictly act if we get any information regarding the presence of kidnapped Iranian soldiers on our soil,” Chief Secretary Balochistan Babar Yaqoob Fateh Muhammad said in a joint press conference along with the deputy governor of Sistan-Balochistan Ali Asghar Shikari in Quetta on Friday.
The press conference followed a meeting of the high level officials from Pakistan and Iran who held a detailed discussion on border security issue in Quetta. They also thoroughly discussed the issues of trade, extradition of criminals, fisheries and violations of the international border.
The Chief Secretary Balochistan led the Pakistani delegation in talks‚ while the Iranian delegation was represented by Mir Ali Asghar Shikari.
In the press conference, the chief secretary said that both sides agreed to take joint steps to fight militant groups and curb the menace of cross-border terrorism.
The chief secretary said that both countries decided to form a joint committee comprising senior officials from both sides to keep a vigilant eye on border violations and other issues relating to the Pakistan-Iran border.
The committee would present its report to the border commission after three months, adding that both sides have agreed to boost coordination to avoid misunderstanding and promote bilateral relations, he said, adding that less communication can lead to misunderstandings.
The deputy governor of Sistan-Balochistan expressed serious concern over the kidnapping and said that the incident had harmed the feelings of the Iranian people.
“It is important for us to address the issue of kidnapping of the border guards,” Shikari said in the joint press conference.
Shikari said that the Pakistani delegation had passionately listened and assured cooperation with regard to the recovery of Iranian kidnapped border guards. He said that some militant groups have vicious plans to disturb us.
Moreover, he said that the next meeting of the joint border commission would be held in Sistan-Balochistan on August 24 to discuss issues relating to the border. He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Governor and Chief Minister Balochistan had already been invited by the Iranian government to visit the country.