Islamabad is on “extremely” high alert after Pakistan launched attacks on separatist militants inside Iran on Thursday, in retaliation for Tehran’s claim that it hit the bases of another group within Pakistan.
Amid growing tensions between the neighbors, a top Pakistani security source told Reuters that any more “misadventure” from the Iranian side would be dealt with by force. And now the borders of Islamabad have been closed to avoid any mishappening.
Pakistan’s Retaliatory Strike On Iran
Pakistan launched strikes inside Iran against separatist Baloch militants, according to the Pakistani foreign ministry.
The strikes in the restive Sistan-Balochistan province killed at least nine individuals, the majority of them were women or children, according to Iran’s official IRNA news agency.
What Leads to Tension Between Pakistan And Iran?
The United Nations and the United States have pleaded for caution after Iran and Pakistan conducted lethal airstrikes on militant targets on one other’s territory. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the two governments to “exercise maximum restraint”.
The military activity between the heavily armed neighbors has exacerbated tensions already high following the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Pakistan’s reaction comes just days before the February 8 general election. Shuja Nawaz, distinguished fellow and founding director of the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center, stated that a weak caretaker government in Pakistan put together to hold the elections may not be best equipped to deal with these complex issues, allowing the military to take center stage once more.
Pakistan’s strikes come after Iran launched raids on “terrorist” sites in Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least two youngsters.
Iran’s Response To Pakistan
Iranian media broadcast footage of severely damaged homes, including one video showing people huddled around a crater.
Iran condemned the decision and summoned Pakistan’s charge d’affaires “to protest and request an explanation from the Pakistani government,” foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani said.