Families of Iranian terror victims pen letter to Pakistani PM

An Iranian organization representing the families of Iranian victims of terrorism has pleaded with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to enact stricter security measures on Pakistan’s border with Iran to prevent Pakistani-based terrorists from attempting attacks on Iranian territory.

The Habilian Association made the plea in an open letter addressed to Prime Minister Khan on Saturday, on the eve of his planned visit to the Islamic Republic. The Pakistani premier is slated to arrive in Iran on a two-day visit, starting in the holy city of Mashhad.

The letter cited the martyrdom of scores of Iranian border guards at the hands of the terrorists over the past several years.

“Abusing the current situation and the lack of serious border control, terrorist groups enter Iran from time to time, perpetrating sabotage and [acts of] terror before freely returning to the other side,” it read. “These actions have been continually going on for several years, and, unfortunately, no serious action has been taken on the part of Islamabad to prevent them.”

The organization said that the continued captivity of some Iranian security forces at the hands of terrorists inside Pakistan was a testament to how the terror groups were acting freely.

Some 27 Iranian military officers were killed in the most recent terrorist attack in the southwestern Sistan and Baluchistan Province — which borders Pakistan — in February.

Last October, the terrorists kidnapped 12 Iranian forces on the common border, and are still keeping some of them. Another attack took place in April 2017, when 10 Iranian border guards were killed by terrorists.

The so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group, which is based in Pakistan and has links to al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for those attacks.

Also on Saturday, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told reporters that Pakistan had taken steps to ensure stability along the Iranian border as part of a project dubbed “Border of Peace.”

He said the two countries had started setting up joint border centers while agreeing to synchronize border patrolling exercises and carry out heli-surveillance to prevent incidents like those in the past that have affected security in the region.

The Habilian Association also condoled with Pakistan over the deaths of 14 navy personnel in an attack in a remote area of the country’s southwest.

The association pointed to the fact that both Iran and Pakistan were among the countries losing the highest number of citizens to terrorism.

It said Islamabad needed to decisively confront terrorism if it sought to ensure its own development too.