Islamabad, January 19, 2024, The Europe Today: Pakistani Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani engaged in a pivotal diplomatic conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, on Friday, marking a significant turning point in the recent escalation of tensions between Pakistan and Iran.
In a concise statement issued by the foreign office, Minister Jilani expressed Pakistan’s unwavering commitment to fostering collaboration with Iran. He emphasized the critical importance of mutual trust and cooperation, particularly in the realm of security.
Tensions had intensified earlier in the week when Iran launched a missile strike against what it referred to as hardline Sunni Muslim militants in Balochistan’s Pangur district, bordering Iran. In response, Pakistan conducted air strikes against separatist militants inside Iranian territory, marking the first such incident since the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88.
Crucial regional players, including China, Russia, and Turkey, actively engaged in diplomatic efforts to defuse the crisis. The Iranian foreign ministry, in a late evening statement on Thursday, reaffirmed its commitment to good neighbourly ties with Pakistan and expressed its resolve not to allow external elements to strain the longstanding relationship.
The cautiously interpreted statement from Tehran marked a positive signal, indicating Iran’s openness to mend ties with its neighbour. Behind-the-scenes efforts by influential regional countries played a crucial role in persuading both Pakistan and Iran to step back from the brink of conflict, diplomatic sources revealed.
While cautious optimism prevails among Pakistani officials regarding the de-escalation, concerns persist over the potential specter of conflict. The recent coordinated and precision-guided strikes by Pakistan on terrorist hideouts inside Iranian territory underscore the gravity of the situation. The diplomatic breakthrough, however, provides hope for renewed dialogue and collaboration between the two nations.