Pak calls off Iranian minister’s visit 2nd time in a month

The Iranian interior minister was scheduled to discuss a variety of issues.

Last Updated: May 21, 2011, 16:42 PM IST

Islamabad: Pakistan has yet again cancelled a scheduled visit of Iranian Interior Minister Mustafa Najar to Islamabad, according to highly-placed sources.

Najar, who was due to arrive in Pakistan on May 16 at the invitation of Interior Minister Rehman Malik, was conveyed the Pakistan Foreign Ministry’s message that he should cancel his trip owing to Malik’s pressing engagements within the country, The Express Tribune reports.

A similar visit by Najar, scheduled for May 11, was cancelled at the eleventh hour when Malik had to rush to Saudi Arabia following the US raid in Abbottabad that killed al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden on May 02.

Najar was scheduled to visit Pakistan to discuss a variety of issues, the key issue being the alleged Pakistani support for the Sunni extremist outfit Jundullah and cross-border drug trafficking and smuggling.

Dissatisfied with Pakistan’s cooperation against terrorism, Iran is continuously demanding that Islamabad “do more” in this regard, according to sources.

According to the Foreign Policy Journal of Tehran, Najar has reportedly called on Pakistan to step up efforts in disrupting Jundullah’s safe haven in Pakistan.

Malik visited Tehran as a special envoy of President Asif Ali Zardari last month, where he held meetings with the Iranian Foreign Minister and his Iranian counterpart.

Border security arrangements between the two countries and anti-Iranian activities by its native Baloch organisation, Jundullah, whom Tehran has declared a terrorist group, also came under discussion.

Tehran is perturbed over what it described as “limited” cooperation extended by Islamabad to diminish Jundullah over the years.

Iranian Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi recently announced that his government plans to build a concrete security fence along its border with Pakistan to prevent border crossing by terrorists and drug traffickers.

ANI