Iran-Pakistan strikes raise concerns for diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan

Iran-Pakistan strikes raise concerns for diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan

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Iran-Pakistan strikes raise concerns for diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan

On January 16, Iran’s media reported that the country’s armed forces struck two headquarters of the Jaish al-Zulm terrorist group on Pakistani territory

Russia hopes that the exchange of strikes between Iran and Pakistan will not affect diplomatic efforts in Afghanistan, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said at his annual news conference devoted to reviewing Moscow’s main foreign policy achievements in 2023.

“The fact that we are present there [in Afghanistan], we have not fallen out of touch with what is going on for a second, and are now maintaining contact with the de facto leadership – this helps us to work, including on promoting external formats that allow us to develop recommendations for the Afghans. This is the Moscow format, there is a ‘quarter’ of Russia, China, Pakistan and Iran. I hope that the Pakistan-Iran ‘exchange of pleasantries’ will not hamper the work of this format,” the foreign minister said.

On January 16, Iran’s Tasnim news agency reported that the country’s armed forces struck two headquarters of the Jaish al-Zulm terrorist group on Pakistani territory. Drones and missiles were used in the operation. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry condemned the strike, calling it a violation of the country’s air borders that may entail serious consequences. The ministry said two children were killed in the strike.

Later, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said an anti-terrorist operation had been carried out during which the country’s army struck extremist hideouts in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchistan province. According to regional authorities, the attack killed nine people, including three women and four children.