The day India carried out surgical strikes across the Line of Control, Iranian Border Guards attacked Pakistan’s restive Balochistan region, sparking speculation whether it was a coordinated Indo-Iranian move amid warming ties.
It has been learnt that Iranian forces fired three mortars into Balochistan area of Pakistan, taking the Pakistani Army by surprise. It kept a section of the Pakistani Army engaged on the western borders on the fateful night. Pakistan upgraded deployment of forces at its western border after the incident.
The Pakistani Army is yet to ascertain the reason behind the sudden move by the Iranian Border Guards, pointed out a source who did not wish to be identified.
“Mortar shells fired by Iranian border guards landed in the district of Panjgoor,” a Balochistan provincial government official said. Two of the shells landed near Frontier Corps check-post, while the third landed at Killi Karim Dad.
No property or human loss was reported in the shelling, but locals panicked as a result of the attack, and Pakistani Frontier Corps personnel reached the site to take stock of the situation. The area is among the most backward regions of the world where human rights violations by Pakistani Army are now being highlighted by India.
Pakistan shares a 900-kilometre porous border with Iran, which has been unhappy with alleged Pak Army-sponsored Sunni militia Jundullah targeting both Iranian Army and Revolutionary Guards. Tehran has accused Islamabad of letting terror outfits use its territory to carry out strikes across the border.
The two forces have clashed in the past over terror attacks in Iranian territory even as Iran and Pakistan reached an agreement in 2014 to boost intelligence coordination to combat terrorists from the border region. Jundullah is believed to have 700-2,000 fighters and is said to be responsible for killing 154 and injuring 320 Iranian citizens since 2003.