See More on Facebook

Diplomacy, Opinion

Two terrorist attacks, one in India and one in Iran, has Pakistan reeling

Due to an unfortunate series of events, Pakistan finds itself in a tricky position.


Written by

Updated: February 22, 2019

While India is ratcheting up tensions in the aftermath of the Pulwama bombing, the targeting of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, also known as the Pasdaran, in Sistan-Baluchestan province that borders our own Balochistan a day before the incident in India-held Kashmir, has also led to Tehran pointing fingers in this direction.

A senior commander of the Pasdaran has said that the suicide bomber that targeted the Guards’ bus was a Pakistani, as were two of the facilitators of the attack. While Pakistan has condemned the targeting of the Pasdaran, Tehran needs to refrain from hurling accusations against Pakistani authorities without solid proof. There needs to be an investigation involving both nations so that the perpetrators of this tragedy can be brought to justice. Iranian military commanders’ talk of ‘hot pursuit’ inside Pakistan is totally unacceptable as this country’s sovereignty must be respected.

It is a fact that cross-border attacks are amongst the biggest irritants standing in the way of better Islamabad-Tehran relations.

Indeed, Sistan-Baluchestan is often described as ‘restive’, as militant groups such as Jundallah and its successor Jaish al-Adl — that is believed to have carried out the latest attack — have led a low-level insurgency against the Iranian government in the province, based on ethnic nationalism and sectarian jihadi rhetoric. What is problematic from this country’s point of view is that these anti-Iran militants are believed to find shelter in the borderlands between Pakistan and its western neighbour. Therefore, from the standpoint of internal security and bilateral relations, it is in both countries’ interest to work together to defeat such groups.

There are precedents that working together can produce positive results in the fight against militancy. For example, Pakistan helped recover a number of Iranian border guards kidnapped last year by Jaish al-Adl, while there have been high-level bilateral exchanges between the civilian and military top brass of both countries focusing on security. This is a volatile time for Pakistan and the entire region, with non-state actors playing a destabilising role where state-to-state relations are concerned. Therefore, defeating militancy requires a regional, coordinated approach.

Pakistan and Iran must use diplomatic channels to address this sensitive issue, and in particular, Iran should refrain from making accusations publicly. As has been proven in the past, cooperation can deliver the goods where the fight against militancy is concerned.



Enjoyed this story? Share it.


Dawn
About the Author: Dawn is Pakistan's oldest and most widely read English-language newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia


Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.



By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Diplomacy, Opinion

Beijing hits back at religion claims

China hits back at Mike Pence’s criticism of China’s religious policies. Beijing on Friday hit back at US Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo over their criticism of China’s religious policies and the status of religious freedom. China has lodged stern representations to the United States, Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news conference, demanding the US respect facts and correctly view China’s religious policies. He also urged Washington to stop using religious issues to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries. Pence and Pompeo criticized China on Thursday over religious freedom at a conference held in Washington. On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump also met with so-called Chinese victims of religious persecution, the participants in the three-day international religious freedom con


By China Daily
July 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Opinion

Nearly 20,000 illegal Nepali workers in Malaysia can return home

Local authorities announce general amnesty. Thousands of Nepali migrant workers, who have violated immigration rules in Malaysia and are liable to legal action, will be able to return home because the Malaysian government has announced a general amnesty scheme for undocumented foreigners. The five-month-long amnesty scheme—called Program Back for Good—will provide illegal foreigners, including thousands of Nepali workers, an opportunity to return to their respective home countries before the Malaysian government cracks down on them and makes arrests. An estimated 15,000-20,000 Nepali migrant workers who are overstaying their visit or are living without valid documents in Malaysia can make use of the latest amnesty. “There is no exact data on the number of Nepali wo


By The Kathmandu Post
July 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Opinion

Bolton to visit Korea, Japan amid rising tension

UN national security adviser expected to ask Korea to contribute to protecting Strait of Hormuz. US national security adviser John Bolton will visit South Korea this week after a stop in Japan to discuss the two US allies’ deepening row following Tokyo’s decision to curb the trade of materials crucial for the production of memory chips to Seoul. National Security Council spokesman Garrett Marquis wrote on Twitter that Bolton departed Saturday for Japan and Korea to “continue conversations with critical allies and friends,” without elaborating on details. Bolton will make a two-day trip to Korea on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Cheon


By The Korea Herald
July 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Opinion

The Afghan prism in Pakistan – US relations

Despite their best efforts, the Afghan question still clouds US – Pakistan relations. Despite the Indian media’s assumptions of a US strategic volte-face, Islamabad would do well to acknowledge that the Trump administration still views its relations with Pakistan largely through the prism of Afghanistan. President Donald Trump’s desire for an early end to America’s longest war is the principal reason for his invitation to Prime Minister Imran Khan. Pakistan has played a key role in facilitating the Afghan peace process and the US-Taliban talks. These have reportedly made encouraging progress over the past few months. An agreement on the withdrawal of US-Nato troops has evidently been reached between the US and the Afghan Taliban, although no timetable for the withdrawal has been finalised and it is not clear if the troop withdrawal would be commenced before, during or after a political settlement i


By Dawn
July 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Opinion

Ruling bloc set to keep majority in Japan

The move has significant impact on any attempts to rewrite Japan’s pacifist constitution. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner Komeito are set to win the majority of the 124 seats up for grabs in the House of Councillors election, according to tallies by The Yomiuri Shimbun on Sunday night after polls closed at 8 p.m. The ruling bloc is expected to maintain its majority in the 245-member upper house, taking into account the 70 seats it holds that were not up for election this year. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is on the verge of securing his sixth successive national election victory, is expected to move forward on issues concerning the consumption tax rate hike and the amending of the Constitution. Abe’s current term as LDP president expires in September 2021. Some LDP members were concerned that the Abe administration wo


By The Japan News
July 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Opinion

Pro-independence group forms political party in Taiwan

The move will unlikely improve cross strait relations. The pro-independence Formosa Alliance formed a political party on July 20, saying that it hoped to field at least 10 candidates in the legislative election next January and give independence-leaning voters an alternative to the current ruling party. The Formosa Alliance will not compete in the 2020 presidential election, said Lo Jen-kuei, a minister in the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, who was elected chairman of the new party. He said the Formosa Alliance was formed not out of dissatisfaction with the performance of President Tsai Ing-wen but rather to give pro-independence voters a choice other than her Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). In fact, Lo said, it would be a blessing for the Taiwanese people if the DPP won the 2020 presidential election. He said he hoped to see Tsai team up with former Premier William Lai on the DPP pres


By Asia News Network
July 21, 2019