Chabahar blast: Iran asks Pak to act against `Jundallah` group

Last Updated: Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 15:57

Islamabad: Iran has asked Pakistan to act
against a terror group accused of carrying out the recent
suicide bombing in the Iranian city of Chabahar that killed 36
people, an incident which has caused fresh strain in ties
between the two countries.

Iranian Ambassador Mashallah Shakeri yesterday handed
over a communique to Interior Minister Rehman Malik demanding
Pakistan`s cooperation in investigating the Chabahar suicide
bombing that had also left over 100 people injured.

The attack on a Shia procession on December 15 was
claimed by the Sunni militant group Jundallah (Army of God).
Iran has often alleged that Jundullah operatives are based and
trained in Pakistan.

Iranian authorities said they had caught one of the
bomber`s accomplices at the border, apparently trying to slip
back into Pakistan.

Malik assured the Iranian envoy that Pakistan would
extend all help for the probe.

An investigation team would be sent to Iran if the need
arises and Pakistan will never allow anyone to use its soil
for terrorist activities directed against another country, he
said.

Diplomatic sources said Pakistan and Iran had agreed to a
meeting of their Interior Ministers in Istanbul on the
sidelines of an Economic Cooperation Organisation meeting next
week.

The suicide bombing had brought "uneasy Pakistan-Iran
ties under fresh strains," the Dawn newspaper quoted unnamed
sources as saying.

Tehran has told Islamabad that it needed more than "just
verbal commitments for action against the terrorist outfit
Jundallah," the daily reported.

Iran accuses Pakistan of "being indifferent towards
revival of a key bilateral security cooperation forum, which
last met three years ago even though it was to convene after
every six months," the report said.

"The security commission, which has met only thrice,
should be active," an Iranian official told Dawn.

In an indication that the commission`s reactivation is
being blocked by Pakistanis, the Iranian official was quoted
as saying: "We (Iranians) are ready for the meeting."

Iranians perceive the commission as "very important" for
exchanging intelligence related to terrorism.

After his meeting with Interior Minister Malik, Iranian
Ambassador Shakeri told the media of the need for "proactive
cooperation" against terrorism.

"There are certain porous points along the Pakistan-Iran
border that are being exploited by terrorists. We need to work
together to close those points," he said.

Though Pakistan and Iran have signed several accords for
enhancing border security cooperation and exchanging
information on security issues, nothing significant has
materialised as yet.

Since the Chabahar bombing, several Iranian leaders have
criticised Pakistan for its failure to end Jundallah
sanctuaries on its territory and prevent cross-border
movements of the group`s activists.

Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar has
alleged that the terrorists are trained in Pakistan.

The Foreign Office, in a statement issued last week to
condemn the Chabahar attack, expressed Pakistan`s "resolve and
commitment to continue to cooperate closely with Iran to
defeat the menace of terrorism."

The statement also described the perpetrators of the
attack as "common enemies" of both countries.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, December 19, 2010 - 15:57

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