Iran on Sunday summoned Pakistan ambassador Riffat Masood to lodge a formal protest over a terror attack in the Southeastern Sistan-Baluchistan region that killed 27 of its Revolutionary Guards.
Pakistan based Jaish ul-Adl took the responsibility for the attack. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pledged to avenge the attack saying, "our nation will certainly take revenge for the blood of these dear martyrs”.
On Friday, India had summoned Pakistani High Commissioner Sohail Mahmood over Thursday's ghastly terror attack on CRPF convoy in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama that claimed over 40 lives.
Reactions poured in from Iran condemning the heinous attack. Iran's 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 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 his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif and said that 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 held 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 the attack on Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
The press statement issued by Iran's foreign ministry read, "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 tweeted out saying, "we agreed on close cooperation to combat terrorism in the region. Enough is enough!"
Iran & India suffered from two heinous terrorist attacks in the past few days resulted in big casualties. Today in my meeting with Sushma Swaraj the Indian FM, when she had a stopover in Tehran, we agreed on close cooperation to combat terrorism in the region. Enough is enough! pic.twitter.com/uvwlx45pZ6— Seyed Abbas Araghchi (@araghchi) February 16, 2019
Afghanistan complains to UNSC about Pakistan
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 over its engagement with Taliban.
In a tweet, Ahmadi said, "Afghanistan complains to UN Security Council on Pakistan’s engagements with the Taliban on which Afghan 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."
#Afghanistan complains to #UNSecurityCouncil on #Pakistan’s engagements with the Taliban on which #Afg Government is not consulted. It not only undermines the ongoing peace efforts but violates Afghanistan's National Sovereignty, also falls in violation of UNSC Resolution 1988. pic.twitter.com/FtmnwivvX2— Sibghatullah Ahmadi (@Sibghat_Ah) February 17, 2019
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. The reason was not known immediately.
In past, Afghanistan had also raised the matter of 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.
India's diplomatic campaign against Pak continues
More diplomatic action is expected from India in the coming week. Argentina's President and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman will meet Prime Minister Modi next week. PM Modi will be travelling to South Korea on a two-day visit starting February 21 where he will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in. In all the meetings, Pakistan's support to terror and its involvement in the Pulwama attack is due to be highlighted.
New Delhi has been calling on Islamabad to take immediate and verifiable action against Jaish-e-Mohammad, however, Pak Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has been saying it needs evidence to crack down on the terror outfit.
India had given evidence of Pakistan's involvement after the Parliament terror attack in 2001, the 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 attack, has withdrawn Most Favoured Nation status (MNF) from Pakistan due to which customs duty on all Pak imports stands at 200 per cent now.
India has also mounted a diplomatic campaign against Pakistan to isolate the South Asian country. New Delhi has briefed as many as 40 envoys from ASEAN, Central Asia, Gulf, members of the United Nations Security Council over Pakistan's involvement in the Pulwama terror attack.