Islamabad’s relations with its neighboring countries have been strained as a result of terrorist attacks by groups based in Pakistan.
On February 13, a bomber identified by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) as Pakistani national Hafiz Mohammad Ali slammed his explosives-laden car into a bus carrying members of Iran’s IRGC on a road in Iran’s Sistan-and-Baluchestan Province — which borders Pakistan — killing 27 people and injuring 13 others.
A day after the attack in Iran, a car bomb killed 40 Indian paramilitary troops in the Indian-administered Kashmir.
The attacks in Iran and India were not the first of their kinds.
The assault in India prompted New Delhi to launch airstrikes on what it said were militant positions inside Pakistan. Pakistan responded by launching its own cross-border attacks, and the tensions started mounting significantly.
Pakistan also shot down an Indian fighter jet and captured its pilot but released him shortly afterwards as a “peace gesture.”
The tensions continued despite the peace gesture.
Pakistan earlier this week launched an ongoing crackdown against terrorist groups operating within its territory. The government later announced that 182 religious schools run by banned groups had been seized and more than 120 people had been detained.
Islamabad has in the past made similar claims about cracking down on terrorist groups, but those arrested are often said to be released shortly after arrest.
Pakistani officials have said the ongoing crackdown has been long-planned and is not a response to Indian concerns. Still, it is seen as an attempt to partially soothe both India and Iran, whose patience seems to be running thin in the face of Pakistan’s failure to take meaningful action against terrorist groups using its territory to launch attacks abroad.