Iran Launches Missile Strikes Against Terrorists In Pak
NEW DELHI (ANI) – Iran launched air strikes on January 16 at the headquarters of a terrorist group opposed to Tehran with drones and missiles in Pakistan, in which two “important headquarters” of Jaish al-Adl in Pakistan were “destroyed.” Islamabad has now expelled the Iranian ambassador and recalled its ambassador from Tehran.
Following Iran’s strikes on a terrorist group in Balochistan, security and foreign affairs experts have said that the question needs to be asked why neighbors of Pakistan are blaming it for harboring terrorists and underlined that the attack is a very important message that Tehran has sent.
Sushant Sareen, a foreign affairs expert, and Senior Fellow, ORF, said that it is not just Iran, but India and Afghanistan have constant complaints against Pakistan. He said even China, otherwise an ally of Islamabad, has concerns about the presence of militants and Uyghur terrorists in Pakistan.
“I think the question that really needs to be asked is why is it that virtually every neighbor of Pakistan is blaming it for harboring terrorists? Iran was attacking a notorious terrorist group. Iran has a problem with Pakistan and claims that Pakistan is harboring terrorists. Afghanistan is blaming Pakistan for harboring Daesh. India has constant complaints against Pakistan. China also has concerns about the presence of militants and Uyghur terrorists in Pakistan,” Sareen said.
Sareen said the attack on the headquarters of a terrorist group in Pakistan is an important message sent by Iran.
“The attack in Pakistan, I think, is a very important message that the Iranians are sending, that they will not allow the boxing of Iran through these terrorist organizations or para-state groups, something which Iran itself has been accused of doing through its support for Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis. Iran has also been accused of the same, but Iran does not want the same to happen to it. And I think there is a sense in Iran that it’s being encircled, and it wants to break out of that encirclement, and that is why it’s lashing out. But I think the Iranians also made a calculation that these attacks will probably not invite any real response from the places they’ve attacked. Syria is in no position to attack Iran. Neither is Iraq,” Sareen said.
He said Pakistan dispensation already has three fronts open – against India and Afghanistan and against Imran Khan – “and now they will have another front against Iran”.
“I think Iranians have calculated that the Pakistanis would not want to open a new front because Iran has a lot of assets inside Pakistan. And if they want, they have the potential to create a lot of trouble in Pakistan. So, I think the Pakistanis will also be very careful, and the Pakistanis will probably simply underplay the magnitude of what has happened,” he said.
Defense expert Qamar Agha said “Jaish al-Adl is a militant Islamic organization based in Pakistan and has been involved in terror activities in the bordering region of Balochistan. They have been doing this type of activity for quite some time. Iran has warned a number of times that Pakistan should refrain, or these militant organizations should be contained in Pakistan,” he said.
“But according to the Iranian officials, they have not taken any serious action against these groups. Jaish al-Adl is a Sunni militant Islamic group…it is an offshoot of the Jundallah group. Jundallah used to be very strong militant organization based in Pakistan which was also responsible for the killing of large number of Shias within Balochistan as well as in Iran. These groups have been operating for several years in this region. Iran thinks these militant activities now were deliberately organized at the behest of the big powers to divert Iran’s attention from incidents taking place in Middle East, so that it’s a well-planned targeted attempt by the forces which are opposed to Islamic revolution in Iran. This is what Iranians are saying,” he added.
Former diplomat KP Fabian said that at a time when Pakistan is close to its general elections, a military retaliation from Islamabad is not expected.
The strikes by Iran were concentrated in an area in Pakistan’s Balochistan where “one of the largest headquarters” of Jaish al-Adl was located.
Designated as a “terrorist” organization by Iran, Jaish al-Adl is a Sunni terrorist group that operates in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan. Over the years, Jaish al-Adl has launched numerous attacks on Iranian security forces.
In December, Jaish al-Adl took responsibility for an attack on a police station in Sistan-Balochistan that claimed the lives of at least 11 police personnel.