New Delhi: Days after India avenged Pulwama attack by conducting ‘non-military pre-emptive airstrike’ on Jaish-e-Mohammed’s (JeM) hideouts in Balakot across line of control, Iran has also lambasted Pakistan for harbouring terrorists and terror outfits. The stern warning by the Iran comes after Jaish ul-Adl, a Pakistan-based terrorist group, claimed responsibility for an attack on an IRGC convoy which claimed the lives of 27 IRGC members while wounding 13 more.
On February 13, a total of 27 members of Revolutionary Guard Corps were killed after an explosive-laden vehicle targeted the bus which was ferrying the military personnel in Khash-Zahedan sector of Sistan-Baluchestan province in south-eastern Iran. Tehran lodged a strong demarche with Pakistan over the assault, summoning Pakistan’s Ambassador Rafat Masoud to register an official protest.
Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, lashed out at Pakistan, stating that the Pakistan intelligence organisation was accountable for sheltering Takfiri groups, including Jaish ul-Adl. “We believe this silence is kind of support for this grouplet and the Pakistani intelligence organization should account for it,”a news agency quoted Major General Jafari as saying.
“Pakistan should also know that it should pay the cost for the Pakistani intelligence organization’s support for Jeish al-Zolm (as Jaish ul-Adl is called in Iran) from now on and this price will no doubt be very heavy for them,” he warned.
Furthermore, the Major General reaffirmed that the Pakistani security organisation “knows the hideout of the grouplets but has kept mum.” “The recent crime has caused the IRGC and other Armed Forces to boost determination to continue the path of martyrs and confront threats and they will protect the security of the country’s borders with more strength and power and will take revenge of the blood of our oppressed martyrs,” Jafari noted.
The military general also threatened that Iran reserved the “right of confrontation” if Pakistan ceased to comply with responsibilities. “If Pakistan does not comply with its responsibilities, the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right of confrontation against these peripheral threats at the borders with the neighbouring country, based on international law and rules, and will adopt compensatory measures to punish the terrorists who are mercenaries of the regional and trans-regional states’ spy agencies,” he cautioned.
Meanwhile, the Commander of the IRGC Quds Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani further warned Islamabad to halt cross-border attacks by terrorists who are based on their soil, according to Far News Agency. “We have always offered Pakistan help in the region, but I have this question from the Pakistani government: where are you heading to? You have caused unrest along borders with all your neighbours and do you have any other neighbour left that you want to stir insecurity for,” General Soleimani stated at an event in Babol after the February 13 suicide attack.
Furthermore, addressing the Pakistani government directly, he said: “Are you, who have atomic bombs, unable to destroy a terrorist group with several hundred members in the region? How many of your own people have been killed in different terrorist operations? We do not want your condolences, how could your condolence help the people of Iran?” “I ask the Pakistani government what has been left for Pakistan?” he asked.
Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, a military aide to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei, also lashed out against Pakistan and its intelligence organisation. He also held Islamabad responsible for the terrorist attack on the IRGC convoy, which took place in Sistan and Baluchestan.
(With inputs from agencies)