Fighters of the Jaish ul-Adl separatist group on the Iran-Pakistan border (File)
Fourteen Iranian security forces, including two Revolutionary Guards and nine Basij paramilitary volunteers, have been adbucted near the Pakistan border.
Iranian authorities say the personnel were taken by the Jaish ul-Adl faction, which is pursuing autonomy for the Sistan and Baluchestan region in southeast Iran.
Iran’s Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli called on Pakistan to meet commitments under bilateral security agreements, with a joint operation to obtain the release of the forces and prevent further attacks on Iranian border posts:
All efforts should focus on releasing the hostages, decisively confronting the terrorists and preventing a recurrence of such incidents.
Within the framework of bilateral relations and the principle of good neighborliness, as well as mutual security commitments, joint operations are urgently needed to achieve results.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke by phone with Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi to press the call for “immediate and serious action”.
The Pakistani Foreign Office said Qureshi told Zarif that security forces are searching for the 14 Iranian personnel: “Qureshi expressed his serious concern over the incident. Qureshi said that such incidents are the handy work of our common enemies unhappy with the existing close friendly relations between Pakistan and Iran.”
Jaish ul-Adl was formed in 2012 by members of another separatist group, Jundallah, which was broken up by Iranian forces in 2010 after the execution of its leader Abdolmalek Rigi.
The faction has carried out a series of attacks, including bombing of border posts and abduction of guards. In August, one guard was released after being held for more than a year in Pakistan.