ISLAMABAD:Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif arrived in Pakistan on Wednesday after 14 Iranian security personnel, including Revolutionary Guards intelligence officers, were abducted on the volatile south-eastern border with Pakistan earlier this month.Iran asks Pakistan to help secure borderZarif is accompanied by a high-level delegation for the one-day visit and was welcomed by officials at Noor Khan Airbase. He later met his Pakistani counterpart Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and discussed matters related to regional security and mutual interest. It is his second visit to Pakistan after the new government came into power.Zarif and Qureshi had spoken about the abduction of Iranian border guards after the incident on October 17.The abduction caused friction between the two countries, as the Iranian foreign ministry summoned the Pakistani envoy in Tehran to convey its concerns over the issue.A statement issued by the Foreign Office said FM Qureshi expressed his serious concern over the incident.He also briefed Zarif regarding active efforts launched by the law enforcement agencies to ascertain the whereabouts of the missing Iranian guards, in coordination with the Iranian military and intelligence counterparts, the statement added.
Iran’s spy officers among 14 security personnel kidnapped on Pakistan border
The directors-general of military operations from both countries were also in close contact through a hotline to coordinate in the search and rescue efforts – including enhanced air surveillance and troop deployment in the border area where the incident took place.Foreign Minister Qureshi said that such incidents were the “handiwork of our common enemies unhappy with the existing close, friendly relations between Pakistan and Iran”.Reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment of not allowing anyone to succeed in such malicious efforts, Qureshi noted that Pakistan and Iran have traditionally shared a ‘border of peace and friendship’ which would be maintained in the same spirit.Thanking the foreign minister, Zarif underscored Iran’s desire to overcome all hurdles jointly with Pakistan in maintaining complete peace along the Pak-Iran border.Meanwhile, the commander of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said the kidnapped Iranian security personnel were unconscious at the time, following reports that they had eaten drugged food.
An Iranian separatist group called Jaish al-Adl said claimed it had seized the personnel at the Mirjaveh border post in Sistan-Balochistan province.