There is a long history of attacks against the IRGC and the Pakistani military, and both countries have accused each other of harboring militants in remote parts of their controlled borders.
A new wave of terrorism by anti-Iranian extremist groups on the Pakistan-Iran border, targeting the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Iran’s border security forces, could damage Iran-Pakistan relations, which they have improved along with a palpable stabilization of ties between Tehran and Riyadh.
Analysts with deep knowledge of international relations say the timing of the terrorist attack by an anti-Iran group is intended to sour cordial ties between the two neighbors and vitiate the impact of geopolitical changes taking place in Asia. West with the mediation of China. reconciliation efforts are bearing fruit in the region.
The last attack on Iran
At least five Iranian border guards were killed in a clash with a Pakistan-based terror cell on May 21 in Iran’s volatile southeastern province of Sistan-o-Baluchistan. The armed group intercepted the IRGC in Saravan, near the border with Pakistan, and then withdrew into Pakistani territory.
According to Iran’s state news agency Fars“A terrorist group seeking to infiltrate the country” carried out Sunday’s attack, and “they fled across the border after the confrontation.”
The incident occurred days after the inauguration of the Mand-Pishin border food market by Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Iranian President Seyed Ebrahim Raisi in an elegant ceremony on May 18. Pakistani and Iranian leaders have also launched an electricity transmission line to deliver Iranian electricity to the Chinese port of Gwadar and other remote areas in the province.
The Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement on Friday, May 17, stating that the joint inauguration demonstrates Pakistan’s and Iran’s commitment to improving the standard of living of residents in neighboring Balochistan and Sistan-o-Baluchistan provinces, respectively. “It also represents a great step forward in the bilateral relationship between the two nations,” the statement added.
Pakistan expects the Mand-Pishin Border Food Market to become a bustling hub to boost cross-border trade, promote economic expansion and create new business opportunities for local businesses. The market also aims to stop the multi-billion dollar illicit trade between the two nations that has drained the economies of Pakistan and Iran.
There is a long history of attacks against the IRGC and the Pakistani military, and both countries have accused each other of harboring militants in remote parts of their controlled borders. At the end of December last year, four members of the Iranian security forces were killed in an attack in the same town in the province, close to the border with Pakistan. The incident struck the Iranian border force exactly one month after a preacher was kidnapped from a mosque in Khash, a city in Sistan and Balochistan province, and later killed. The Baloch minority live in this poorest province of Iran, which has witnessed several bloody battles with extremist organizations, Baloch minority rebels and drug gangs. All these incidents have taken place at this location, and all the rioters are believed to have crossed the Iranian border from Pakistani territories. According to the Iranian authorities, the assassins of the preacher Abdulwahed Rigi were arrested before he could cross the border. The authorities believed that the terrorists intended to cause conflict among the local populations.
Attacks on the Pakistani army
Similar attacks involving Pakistani Army personnel have also made headlines for a long time. Earlier this year, Pakistani authorities declared that four Pakistani soldiers had been killed in a terrorist attack from the Iranian side of the border. A military statement said the incident occurred in the isolated Panjgur district of southwestern Balochistan.
“The terrorists used Iranian soil to attack a convoy of security forces patrolling along the border,” the statement read. He added that “the Iranian side has been asked to pursue the terrorists on their side” from a border of more than 900 kilometers.
Although no one quickly accepted the property, Tehran said anti-Iranian militants are planning such “terrorist” action in the Iranian border area from their safe havens in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. However, the Iranian embassy in Islamabad strongly condemned the terror attack against Pakistani forces. In a tweet, the embassy said that “Iran and Pakistan share a pain called terrorism. This alarming behavior is hurting both parties.”
Four more Pakistani soldiers were martyred in early April this year in the province of Balochistan, in the southwestern region of the country, near the border with Iran. In less than three months, there were two similar attacks. The perpetrators were a “terrorist group” operating from Iranian territory, according to authorities.
The Pakistani military said in a statement that it had alerted Iran to the attack to “prevent similar incidents in the future.” The attack was denounced by Pakistani Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, who said in a tweet that “the nation is united in the war against terror” and that “this scourge will be eradicated.” As usual, no organization claimed ownership of the attack on April 1.
The concept of a border trading city was first envisioned in April 2021, when the two countries decided to establish a third border crossing with Iran’s 959 km borders with Pakistan at the Mand-Pishin point to facilitate cross-border trade. Mand is situated in the tumultuous province of Balochistan in Pakistan, adjacent to Pishin in Balochistan-o-Sistan in Iran.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to create border markets along the border was signed between Pakistan and Iran in April 2021. Then-Trade and Investment Adviser Abdul Razzak Dawood tweeted: “On our border with Iran, Balochistan , three borders Markets are currently being built in Gabd, Mund and Chedgi.”
According to Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the newly opened border market being built on 10 acres of land is one of six such facilities to be built along the Pakistan-Iran border to facilitate new avenues of border trade with Iran. The most recent border market was built in an area with a long history. Mand is a hub for small-scale cross-border businesses supplying food and beverages to major markets in Balochistan, including the Kech and Gwadar districts. According to media reports, Mand has several large warehouses where food and beverages are imported, stored and then distributed in Balochistan and other Pakistani provinces.