Kidnapped Iranian border guards not in Pakistan: FO

Published: March 27, 2014
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Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L). PHOTO:REUTERS/FILE

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L). PHOTO:REUTERS/FILE

TEHRAN: The Iranian border guards were not in Pakistan, stated Foreign Officer spokesperson Tasnim Aslam during her weekly briefing in Islamabad, RadioPakistan reported.

She said that there were no signs that proved the presence of the soldiers in Pakistan, adding that Pakistan will make every effort to help Iran recover the guards.

Aslam also stated that the body of the murdered Iranian guard was not found from Pakistani territory.

On March 24, Jaishul Adl, the rebel group operating in southeast Iran, had claimed to have killed one of the five abducted soldiers and threatened further executions.

Iran urges UN action over abducted soldiers

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has urged the United Nations help to secure the release of Iranian border soldiers abducted by militants, media reported today.

Zarif sent a message to UN chief Ban Ki moon on the evening of March 26 demanding action from the international community, saying “mere condemnation of acts of terrorism is not enough”.

His urgent plea to the UN chief came after Jaishul Adl had claimed responsibility of the murder of one of the guards.

Ban had on March 25 condemned the reported killing as an “appalling act” and urged that the perpetrators be brought to justice.

The young soldiers, who were serving their 24-month mandatory military service, are believed to have been taken into neighbouring Pakistan after being kidnapped in February.

Zarif linked the abduction to what he termed a series of “terrorist atrocities against Iranian citizens, including diplomats and other officials”, according to a copy of his letter to Ban posted on his Facebook page.

He decried action against Iran by “state-sponsored extremist groups, with similar patterns of funding, coordination, support and direction”.

Zarif did not name any countries but Iranian officials have pointed the finger of blame at regional rivals, particularly Saudi Arabia, for a number of attacks against Iranian diplomatic missions in Lebanon, Pakistan and Yemen.

Relationships with Riyadh have deteriorated in recent years over Tehran’s controversial nuclear drive and its support for the Syrian regime, as well as Saudi support for Bahrain in face of a Shia uprising.

A diplomatic source in Tehran said the letter could pave the way for a debate within the UN as “state-sponsored terrorism” is a regional issue.

Jaishul Adl, which took up arms in 2012 to fight for what it says are the rights of Iran’s minority Sunni population, on March 23 warned of further executions should Tehran refuse to release Sunni prisoners.

It claimed responsibility for killing a local prosecutor and 14 Iranian border guards in an ambush in 2013.

Ties with Islamabad have taken hit since the abduction, with Iran criticising what it calls Pakistan’s inability to secure its borders and purge its soil of militants.

In a phone call with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani demanded “serious and swift action” to free the soldiers.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Careful reader
    Mar 27, 2014 - 6:18PM

    Iran is fuming that its arch-rival Saudi Arabia seems to have gifted pakistan 1.5 billion dollars. Also, pakistan contributes 10,000 personnel to the Bahrain military. All of this makes short sighted Iran angry so they are trying to make a political fight here by escalating daily in the media .

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  • Aamir
    Mar 27, 2014 - 6:56PM

    @Careful reader: Looking the other way around it seems much more likely that Saudi supported groups have abducted the border security in order to ignite the quite relations, meanwhile keep pulling Pakistan on their side.

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  • Tani
    Mar 27, 2014 - 7:26PM

    @careful reader Nope it’s not a commoner fisherman etc that is kidnapped but Iranian soldiers who represent the country. Any responsible government facing pressure and backlash from its public to do something, will react in the same way. You would have done the same thing if your soldiers were kidnaped in american territories.

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  • Sandip
    Mar 27, 2014 - 7:42PM

    If Pakistani state is finding it so difficult to manage territory under its control, then maybe it is time for the UN to step in and help Pakistan. A first step could be reduction in the size of Pakistani territory to a level that it can manage. Balochistan and Pakistan Occupied Jammu & Kashmir could be the starting points for such an exercise.
    Pakistan has to learn that sovereignty comes at the price of responsibility and accountability.

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  • unbelievable
    Mar 27, 2014 - 8:38PM

    Next thing you know they will start saying the kidnappers are Iranian. This reminds me a bit of the OBL statements before he was discovered in Pakistan .. I suppose if the Iranians launch a successful recovery raid Pakistan will blame it on the “collective failure of the Worlds intelligence community”.

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  • Dravidian
    Mar 27, 2014 - 11:04PM

    I hope Iran can invade from the West and India from the east.

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  • Naseer
    Mar 27, 2014 - 11:46PM

    I don’t agree with our foreign office’s statement. We should be more accommodating and realistic rather than denying everything.

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  • shah
    Mar 28, 2014 - 12:38AM

    FO claimed for years that OBL was not in Pakistan. FO is only good for bayanbaazi.

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  • Tani
    Mar 28, 2014 - 1:17AM

    @dravidian no way no extra population and fanatic burden to our country and economy. We are happy the way we are, spare us. Btw we have no attack first policy now unless our enemy attack us or effect our national interest in some way we are not interfering in any country.

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  • jamshed kharian-pak
    Mar 28, 2014 - 2:54AM

    @Dravidian, Remember Always! Islamic Republic Of Pakistn is very well Armed if need arise Islamic Forces Of Pakistan could transform hindustan in Black Desert! by First Strike!

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  • Osman
    Mar 29, 2014 - 12:24AM

    U wil see many things like this in the region till nato withdraw from afghanstan……….and after dat with in 2 or three year evry thing will be oky……..and i think no one involve in this event from pakistan……?this all drama is a game planeRecommend

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