May 22, 2024

Moon Desk: Pakistan carried out early morning air strikes on terrorist hideouts in Iran’s Siestan-o-Balochistan province on Thursday in what appears to be a response to Tehran’s violation of its air space over a day ago. The Foreign Office (FO) confirmed the unprecedented action in a statement released shortly after.

“This morning Pakistan undertook a series of highly coordinated and specifically targeted precision military strikes against terrorist hideouts in Siestan-o-Baluchistan province of Iran. A number of terrorists were killed during the Intelligence-based operation – codenamed ‘Marg Bar Sarmachar’,” the FO statement read.

A day earlier, Pakistan recalled its ambassador from Iran and expelled Tehran’s envoy in a swift move to the Iranian missile strikes as extensive consultations were underway to decide the next step. It was the first time that Pakistan had to recall its envoy from Iran, although the two countries have had troubled relations in the past. This highlights the level of tensions between the two neighbours.

The rapid deterioration in ties was triggered by Iran’s missile and drone strikes inside Pakistan on Tuesday. Iran claimed the strikes were aimed at two ‘terrorist bases’ of Jaish-al Adl, a terrorist group operating from Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province.

Pakistan strongly condemned what it called the “unprovoked violation of its airspace” by Iran and warned of serious consequences. Islamabad contested the Iranian claims and said the strikes killed two innocent children and injured three girls.

Operation Marg Bar Sarmachar: Today, the FO stated that, “Over the last several years, in our engagements with Iran, Pakistan has consistently shared its serious concerns about the safe havens and sanctuaries enjoyed by Pakistani-origin terrorists calling themselves Sarmachars on the ungoverned spaces inside Iran. Pakistan also shared multiple dossiers with concrete evidence of the presence and activities of these terrorists.
“However, because of a lack of action on our serious concerns, these so-called Sarmachars continued to spill the blood of innocent Pakistanis with impunity. This morning’s action was taken in light of credible intelligence of impending large scale terrorist activities by these so called Sarmachars.”
Pakistan maintained that today’s action was “a manifestation of Pakistan’s unflinching resolve to protect and defend its national security against all threats”.

“The successful execution of this highly complex operation is also a testimony to the professionalism of the Pakistan Armed Forces. Pakistan will continue to take all necessary steps to preserve the safety and security of its people which is sacrosanct, inviolable and sacred,” it added.

“Pakistan fully respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The sole objective of today’s act was in pursuit of Pakistan’s own security and national interest which is paramount and cannot be compromised,” maintained the FO.

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