Iran and Pakistan will set up a joint border “reaction force” following deadly attacks on their frontier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced on Monday. This came after he met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who is on a two day visit to the country. The premier made a stopover in Mashhad before proceeding on to Tehran. Ali Reza Razm Hussaini, the governor general of Khorasan-e-Razavi province, received the prime minister upon arrival at the Shahid Hasheminejad International Airport.
“We agreed to create a joint rapid reaction force at the borders for combatting terrorism,” Rouhani told a joint news conference, following months of increased tensions over attacks on both sides of the frontier.
The border skirts the volatile southeastern Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchistan which has been the scene of frequent attacks on Iran’s security forces.
Imran Khan is accompanied by Minister for Human Rights, Shireen Mazari; Minister for Maritime Affairs, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi; Adviser to PM on Commerce, Abdul Razak Dawood; Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development, Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari; Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services, Dr Zafarullah Mirza; and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum, Nadeem Baber.
“The security chief will sit down with his counterpart here and discuss (security) cooperation,” Khan said, although no details were given on the joint force.
“We trust that both countries will not have terrorist activities from their soil ... We will not allow any damage to your country from our soil,” said the Pakistani premier who started a two-day visit on Sunday.
In March, Rouhani demanded Pakistan act “decisively against anti-Iranian terrorists”, following a February 13 attack that killed 27 members of the elite Revolutionary Guards in Sistan-Baluchistan.
Iran has said a Pakistani suicide bomber was behind the attack, claimed by the Sunni jihadist group Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), which Tehran says operates mostly out of bases in Pakistan.