Iran summons Pakistan envoy; Afghanistan goes to UNSC against Islamabad

India had summoned Pakistani high commissioner Sohail Mahmood on Friday, a day after the Pulwama terror attack.

Iran summons Pakistan envoy; Afghanistan goes to UNSC against Islamabad

NEW DELHI: Days after a terror attack in the south-eastern Sistan that killed 27 Iranian revolutionary guards, Tehran on Sunday summoned Pakistan ambassador Riffat Masood to lodge a formal protest. Pakistan based Jaish ul-Adl has taken responsibility for the attacks with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pledging to avenge the attack. He said "our nation will certainly take revenge for the blood of these dear martyrs”

India had summoned Pakistani high commissioner Sohail Mahmood on Friday, a day after the Pulwama terror attack. 

Multiple reactions are coming from Iran in the aftermath of the attack. Local Iranian media on Saturday reported that the Commander of Revolution Guards (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari said, '“Iran will retaliate against the group [that conducted the attack] if Pakistan fails to punish them.” Iran's Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani has also slammed Pakistan and called on Islamabad to be held accountable for the terror attack.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called on Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and said his country is ready to cooperate to investigate the attack. 

India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj had made a stopover in Tehran on Saturday while going to Bulgaria and had a meeting with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi. During the meeting, both discussed the recent Pulwama terror attack in India and attack on the revolutionary guards in Iran.

In a press statement issued by Iran's foreign ministry, "They condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan and India"s Srinagar, and offered sympathy to each other."Adding further the release said, "The two sides underlined the necessity of establishing peace and calm in the region through dialogue."After the meet, Araqchi had also tweeted saying "we agreed on close cooperation to combat terrorism in the region. Enough is enough!"

Meanwhile, Afghanistan has also come hard on Pakistan. Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Sibghatullah Ahmadi said Kabul has complained to United Nations security council (UNSC) against Islamabad due to its engagement with Taliban.

In a tweet, Ahmadi said, "Afghanistan complains to UN Security Council on Pakistan’s engagements with the Taliban on which Afg Government is not consulted." Elaborating further he said, "It not only undermines the ongoing peace efforts but violates Afghanistan's National Sovereignty, also falls in violation of UNSC Resolution 1988."

Pakistan government had invited the Taliban for talks along with the United States. The Taliban in a release said at the "formal invitation of the government of Pakistan" meeting was scheduled to take place "between the negotiation teams of the Islamic Emirate and the US on 18th of February 2019 in Islamabad." The meeting now stands cancelled according to reports emanating from Pakistani media which say the meet has been cancelled. The reason was not known immediately. 

In past Afghanistan has also raised Pakistan's support to terror in the region and asked Islamabad to stop giving safe haven to terrorists. A number of terror attacks in Afghanistan have been linked to terror outfits based in Pakistan.

From India's part more action is expected in the coming week. Argentina's President and Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman will meet Prime Minister Modi next week while PM Modi himself will be going to South Korea on a 2-day visit from February 21 where he will meet South Korean president Moon Jae-in. In all the meetings Pakistan's support to terror and involvement in the Pulwama attack will be highlighted.

New Delhi has been calling on Islamabad to take immediate and verifiable action against Jaish e Mohammad, the Pakistan based terror group that has taken responsibility for the attack but its Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has been saying it needs evidence. 

India had given evidence of Pakistan's involvement after the Parliament terror attack in 2001, 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks in 2008 and most recently Uri and Pathankote attacks but Islamabad did not take any action on terror infrastructure on its territory.

India as part of the fallout of the Pulwama has withdrawn most favoured nation status from Pakistan due to which customs duty on Pakistan goods stands at 200% now. India has also mounted a diplomatic campaign against Pakistan to isolate the South Asian country.  New Delhi, briefed 40 envoys from ASEAN, Central Asia, Gulf, members of the United Nations security council about Pakistan's involvement in the Pulwama terror attack, worst in over 2 decades.