Iranian FM Bonhomie with Pak PM Preceded Surprise Airstrike in Balochistan
In a dramatic turn of events, Iran carried out airstrikes targeting the Jaish al-Adl terror group in Pakistan’s Balochistan province just hours after its Foreign Minister met Pakistan’s caretaker PM at the Davos Forum.
The two leaders were pictured warmly shaking hands and interacting on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, underscoring the close ties between Iran and Pakistan. However, shortly after, Iran launched the surprise aerial attack near Panjgur in Balochistan, eliminating hideouts of the Sunni militant outfit Jaish al-Adl.
The strikes were in retaliation for a Jaish al-Adl attack that killed 11 Iranian policemen last month. While Iran exacted revenge, the unexpected action left Pakistan stunned and protesting strongly despite the bonhomie displayed in Davos earlier.
Videos on social media showed plumes of smoke rising from the bombed terror sites. Jaish al-Adl has been active in the restive province bordering Iran and repeatedly targeted Iranian security forces.
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The strike came even as Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian described his country’s relations with Pakistan as “strong and historic” during his meeting with caretaker PM Anwar ul Haq Kakar.
Pakistan warned Iran of consequences and lodged protests over what it called a violation of its sovereignty. The irony of the friendly meeting in Switzerland followed by hostile action highlights the contradictions underlying regional geopolitics.
The terror outfit Jaish al-Adl has now found itself firmly in the crosshairs, with Iran and Pakistan both viewing it as a threat despite their own complex ties. The airstrikes underscore Iran’s zero tolerance toward militant groups operating along the sensitive border.