Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri has demanded that Islamabad push for the release of a number of Iranian forces abducted in the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan on the border with Pakistan.
“Based on agreements [signed] between the Armed Forces of the two countries to ensure security of common borders, we expect the Pakistani Armed Forces to adopt the necessary preparations and push for the immediate release of the abducted [Iranian] soldiers and border guards,” Baqeri said in a phone call with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Friday.
In a statement issued on October 16, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said terrorists had kidnapped the Iranian forces, including local Basij volunteer forces and border guards, overnight near the town of Mirjaveh on the Pakistani border.
The IRGC did not say how many were kidnapped, but IRNA quoted an unnamed official as saying that 14 people had been kidnapped in the village of Lulakdan near Mirjaveh around 4 a.m. or 5 a.m.
The so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group – which is based in Pakistan – claimed responsibility on its Twitter account.
Baqeri also called on Pakistan to take “immediate and severe” action to arrest terrorists behind the Iranian forces’ abduction.
The senior Iranian commander further stressed the importance of strengthening the presence of Pakistani security forces along the common borders to promote and ensure security in the border areas and prevent acts of terror.
The Pakistani general, for his part, expressed regret over the abduction of the Iranian forces and briefed his Iranian counterpart about the Pakistani army’s measures to hunt down the kidnapers.
Javed Bajwa expressed hope that the measures carried out by Pakistani security forces would secure the arrest of the terrorists and the release of the Iranian forces as soon as possible.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said on Tuesday that Pakistan should instantly adopt all necessary measures to help release the abducted Iranian forces.