File photo of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Photograph:( Reuters )
Rouhani tells Imran Khan ‘inaction’ by Islamabad can jeopardise relations between the neighbours.
Iran has asked Pakistan to rein in terror groups on its territory and said a number of terror attacks in the country have been traced to across the border in Pakistan.
Speaking to Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on phone, Iran's president Dr Hassan Rouhani said,“We are witnessing many terrorist attacks by terrorists who are unfortunately located on the Pakistani soil, and in dealing with these terrorists, whose existence are not in favour of us, you and the region, we are fully ready to cooperate with the Pakistani army and government".
The Iranian president said, “We are awaiting your strong action against these terrorists”.
The development comes 3 weeks after a terror attack killed 27 Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) for which Pakistan based Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group claimed responsibility. The attack took place on 13th February in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan Province, just one day before the Pulwama attack in India. Iran named a Pakistani suicide bomber behind the attack, the worst on Iranian soil in many years.
The Iranian leader warned, “The continuation of these terrorists’ activities from the Pakistani soil can undermine the relations between the two countries,”.
According to Iranian readout, Prime Minister Imran Khan assured that his government will not allow terrorist to use his country's soil against neighbours especially Iran and "will do their best to eliminate the terrorists."
He said, “It is to the interest of Pakistan not to let terrorist groups use our soil, and the Pakistani army is ready to deal with terrorists more strongly with the intelligence provided by Iran"
It is interesting to know while Iran government readout of Rouhani-Imran talks on focused on terror, the Pakistani read out of the same conversation had little mention of terror and while no mention of how strongly Iran took up the issue of terror.
The Pakistani read out said PM Imran Khan expressed "heartfelt condolences" on the terror attack in Iran with both leaders calling for a "need for closer cooperation among the two intelligence agencies in combatting terrorism."
Pakistan has been facing pressure from its neighbours--Iran, Afghanistan and India-- to act on the issue of terror. A number of terror attacks in all 3 countries have been traced to terror groups based in Pakistan for which the country is now facing global isolation.
While Paris based anti-terror financing group Financial Action Task Force has asked Islamabad to stop support to the terror groups, several countries from the US to the UK To France have asked Pakistan to dismantle the terror infrastructure.