Pakistan recalls ambassador after Iran air strike kills two children


MULTIPLE CRISES ACROSS MIDDLE EAST

The Iranian strikes add to multiple crises across the Middle East, with Israel waging a war against Hamas in Gaza and pro-Palestinian Huthi rebels in Yemen attacking commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

On Wednesday, Iran’s Defence minister Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said Tehran would set “no limits” to its security.

China, close partners of Iran and Pakistan, urged restraint, with foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning saying both should “avoid actions that would lead to an escalation of tension”.

Pakistan’s official statement did not specify where the strike took place, but Pakistani media said it was near Panjgur in southwest Balochistan province, where the countries share a sparsely populated border of nearly 1,000 kilometres.

Hours before the strike, Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Kakar had met the Iranian foreign minister on the sidelines of the WEF.

“This violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty is completely unacceptable and can have serious consequences,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry statement said.

It said the strike caused the “death of two innocent children while injuring three girls”.

PAKISTAN-IRAN TIES: “SERIOUS CRISIS”

Jaish al-Adl claimed responsibility for an attack in December on a police station in Rask that killed at least 11 Iranian police officers.

The United States has also labelled Jaish al-Adl a terrorist organisation, saying the group “primarily targets Iranian security personnel” but also government officials and civilians with assassinations, kidnappings, and suicide bombings.

Tehran and Islamabad frequently accuse each other of allowing militants to operate from the other’s territory to launch attacks, but official forces on either side rarely engage.

“It is even more concerning that this illegal act has taken place despite the existence of several channels of communication between Pakistan and Iran,” Pakistan’s foreign ministry said.

“Pakistan has always said terrorism is a common threat to all countries in the region that requires coordinated action.”

Michael Kugelman, director of the South Asia Institute at the Washington-based Wilson Center, warned of the seriousness of the strike.

“Iran has staged cross-border operations against Pakistan-based militants in the past, but I don’t recall anything on this scale,” he said on X, formerly Twitter.

“This plunges Pakistan-Iran ties — a delicate relationship even in the best of times — into serious crisis.”



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