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

Moon highlights value of Korea-US alliance

Moon made the statements at a high level meeting between South Korean and US officials. President Moon Jae-in on Tuesday highlighted the importance of the South Korea-US alliance, saying the alliance remains firm and serves as the foundation of his drive for peace. The meeting was attended by South Korean Minister of National Defense Jeong Kyeong-doo and Gen. Robert Abrams, chief of the US Forces Korea. Other participants included Gen. Park Han-ki, chairman of South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, the commanding generals of the country’s Army, Navy and Air Force, and USFK Deputy Commander Lt. Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach. During the meeting


By The Korea Herald
May 22, 2019

Diplomacy, Opinion

South Korea likely to reject arbitration committee on wartime workers

The Japanese and Korean governments are at loggerheads over the issue of forced labour during the war. The government on Monday demanded that the South Korean government agree to the establishment of an arbitration committee to resolve a lawsuit filed by former Korean wartime requisitioned workers in which Japanese companies were ordered to pay compensation, government officials said. The demand was made based on the 1965 bilateral agreement on the settlement of problems concerning property and on economic cooperation. The government deemed it necessary to shift to an arbitration process involving a third party, which should be more enforceable, as South Korea has rejected bilateral negotiations on the issue. However, Seoul is unlikely to agree to the demand, and the prospects are slim that the strategy will lead to resolving the issue. “We’ve determine


By The Korea Herald
May 22, 2019

Diplomacy, Opinion

Jokowi winner of elections

The Indonesian General Election Commission have named Joko Widodo winner of the presidential elections. The General Elections Commission (KPU) has officially declared President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo the winner of the April 17 presidential election after completing the national vote tally in the early hours of Tuesday morning. The final tally showed that the Jokowi-Ma’ruf Amin pair secured 85 million votes (55.5 percent), while the Prabowo Subianto-Sandiaga Uno pair garnered 68 million votes (44.5 percent). KPU head Arief Budiman said the losing candidate pair could challenge the election result at the Constitutional Court within three days of the official announcement of the vote tally. If there is no legal challenge, the KPU will officially name Jokowi and Ma’ruf duly elected as president and vice president for the 2019-2024 period on Friday, Arief said. The Prabowo camp ha


By The Jakarta Post
May 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Opinion

The death of Thailand’s oldest party

If the Democrats join the pro-military government, it could spell the end for the party. They say that the pursuit of democracy is a Sisyphean ordeal, a never-ending task that must be kept at and pursued constantly. The Democrat Party, the country’s oldest, would have you believe that it has, through its long history, been the champion of Thai democracy – that it has fought valiantly against the impulses of totalitarianism whenever they occurred. Yesterday, the pro-junta, pro-military Palang Pracharat Party said it had convinced the Bhumjaithai Party and the Democrats to join a coalition which would allow it to form a government. If this proves to be true, then the Democrat Party will no longer exist. It would no longer serve the illusory purpose its proponents claim was its birthright; after all, how can one defend democracy when one sides with


By Cod Satrusayang
May 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Opinion

Google blocks Huawei from Android updates

The move leaves one of the world’s largest mobile phone manufacturer without an operating system. Google has barred Huawei from updates to its Android operating system to comply with a US government ban, putting the Chinese smartphone maker on the ropes as it scrambled yesterday to assure customers it would continue to support existing smartphones and tablets. Several US tech giants joined Google in suspending business with Huawei, including Intel, Qualcomm, Broadcom and Xilinx, Bloomberg News reported, citing sources. Moving to contain the damage, a Huawei spokesman said: “We have made substantial contributions to the developmen


By The Straits Times
May 21, 2019

Diplomacy, Opinion

Moon faces daunting task to revive stalled nuke talks

After 2 years of peace efforts, tension back on Korean Peninsula with NK-US tug-of-war. Just hours before South Korean President Moon Jae-in was set to appear in his first televised interview with a local broadcaster on May 9 marking his second anniversary of presidency, North Korea fired two short-range missiles. The surprising move came less than a week after it launched multiple projectiles into the East Sea on May 4. During what could have been a celebratory interview looking back on his past two years, Moon warned the North that such military actions would only heighten tensions on the Korean Peninsula. But he appeared cautious to call it a “provocation” and lightly touched on the possibilities of Pyongyang violating inter-Korean agreements and UN resolutions.


By The Korea Herald
May 20, 2019