Islamabad, 18 January 2024 (TDI): In the aftermath of a tragic cross-border attack in Panjgur, Balochistan, Pakistan, Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani engaged in a crucial telephone conversation today with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian. Pakistan considers Iran’s air strikes as a violation of territorial integrity and a breach of international law.
Jalil Abbas Jilani, the current head of the Pakistan delegation at the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Kampala, Uganda, received a phone call today from Iran’s Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian.
During the conversation, the Iranian Foreign Minister emphasized that the attack carried out by Iran on January 16, 2024, within Pakistani borders, not only constituted a significant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty but also stood as a clear breach of international law and the mutual spirit of relations between Pakistan and Iran.
Conveying Pakistan’s unequivocal condemnation of the incident, the Foreign Minister articulated that the assault had caused considerable harm to the bilateral ties between the two countries. Furthermore, he asserted that Pakistan retained the right to respond to this provocative action.
The incident resulted in the heartbreaking deaths of two children and injuries to three girls, prompting swift action from Pakistani authorities. In a diplomatic dialogue, Abdollahian assured Jilani of Tehran’s commitment to “respect Pakistan’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” emphasizing the significance of “continued cooperation and contacts” between the two nations.
During the call, Abdollahian emphasized the inherent connection between Iran’s security and the security of Pakistan, providing insights into the reasons behind the action on Pakistani soil. He underscored the vital need for ongoing collaboration against common enemies, highlighting the joint responsibility of authorities.
In response, Jilani expressed deep concern, characterizing the incident as an attack on the sovereignty of Pakistan. He lamented the lack of prior notification from Iran and conveyed the prevailing sadness in the country. Despite this, Jilani acknowledged his belief that Iran likely had concrete reasons and evidence for its actions.
The Pakistani Foreign Office (FO) earlier condemned the attack as a blatant violation of the country’s sovereignty and a breach of international law. Although the FO did not explicitly mention the location, Iranian state media reported the incident in Panjgur.
Pakistan asserted its right to respond to what it deemed an “illegal act,” emphasizing the gravity of the situation. The breach of sovereignty was declared “completely unacceptable” and lacking any justification.
Furthermore, highlighting the shared threat of terrorism in the region, the Foreign Minister stressed the necessity for collaborative and coordinated efforts to combat this menace. He emphasized that taking unilateral actions could potentially undermine regional peace and stability, cautioning against any country in the region venturing down such a risky path.