‘Blatant violation of airspace’: Pakistan condemns Iranian missile strike on its territory

Ayatollah Dr Syed Ebrahim Raisi with Pakistan's Shehbaz Sharif.

On Wednesday, Pakistan strongly condemned Iran for conducting airstrikes the day before, purportedly targeting bases associated with the militant group Jaish al-Adl in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province.

Iran claimed that the strike was a response to the activities of Jaish al-Adl. Pakistan, however, vehemently denounced the attack, characterising it as a “blatant violation” of its airspace and expressing strong condemnation. The Pakistani government asserted that the airstrike resulted in the tragic death of two children.

The incident escalated tensions between the two neighbouring countries, both of which have a history of mutual suspicion regarding militant activities. The timing of the attack is noteworthy, occurring amidst regional unrest, including Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza and Iran’s recent strikes in Iraq and Syria following an Islamic State-claimed suicide bombing.

Jaish al-Adl, a militant group seeking an independent Baluchistan, has been active across Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan, engaging in bombings and kidnappings. The Iranian strike specifically targeted this group’s bases in Pakistan. The attack prompted Pakistan to issue a strong diplomatic protest, emphasising the severity of the violation of its sovereignty and holding Iran responsible for the consequences.

The situation is further complicated by the unprecedented nature of the missile-and-drone attack by Iran on Pakistan, signalling a new dimension in the regional dynamics and raising concerns about destabilisation.

In addition to the Iranian strike on Pakistan, there were parallel developments in northern Iraq, where Iran conducted strikes that resulted in civilian casualties. In response, Iraq recalled its ambassador from Tehran, registering its protest against the airstrikes. These actions by Iran, both in Pakistan and Iraq, underscore the complex and sensitive nature of regional relations.

As the reasons behind Iran’s attack on Pakistan remain unclear, especially given recent diplomatic engagements between the two nations, the situation reflects the intricate web of regional dynamics and longstanding tensions.

The events highlight the challenges in managing relations between neighbouring countries in a region marked by historical complexities and ongoing conflicts.

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