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On Iran and Pakistan Fortifying Ties to Combat Terrorism

In a significant diplomatic move, Iran and Pakistan have decided to strengthen their ties and enhance security cooperation to combat terrorism, particularly along their shared border. This development follows a recent exchange of deadly airstrikes between the two nations targeting alleged Baluch separatists.


On January 16, Iranian forces conducted an operation inside Pakistan against Jaish al-Adl, an Islamist Baluch separatist group, resulting in the loss of at least 11 lives, including two children. In response, Islamabad accused Iran of violating its territorial sovereignty and took retaliatory measures, escalating tensions between the two neighbors.


However, a more constructive approach has emerged as Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met with Pakistani officials on Monday. Amir-Abdollahian engaged with his counterpart, Jalil Abbas Jilani, and caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, focusing on strengthening military communication to jointly address the challenge of terrorism.


The leaders also agreed to establish free trade economic zones near the shared border to boost bilateral trade. Jilani emphasized the commitment to the principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity in this cooperative effort.


While Iran and Pakistan aim to mend their relationship and collaborate on security matters, Iran's actions in other regions continue to raise concerns. Tehran executed four individuals on Monday, accusing them of being linked to Israel's spy agency, Mossad. However, Iran Human Rights, a Norwegian-based NGO, disputed the claims, asserting that the executed individuals were Kurdish political prisoners tortured into confessing ties to Israel.


Moreover, a drone strike at a US base in Jordan on Sunday, claimed by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a coalition of Iranian-backed militias, resulted in the death of three US Army soldiers and injuries to over 30 others. Iran denied direct involvement in the drone strike, marking the 165th suspected attack against US forces since the Israel-Hamas war began in October 2023. President Joe Biden expressed the US' commitment to respond to the attack, leaving the specific nature of the response yet to be determined.


As Iran fortifies its ties with Pakistan to address terrorism along their border, the broader regional dynamics continue to be shaped by Iran’s policies and the ripple effects of its alleged involvement in conflicts with various actors in the Middle East. The situation underscores the complexity of diplomatic relationships in the region and the challenges posed by terrorism and geopolitical tensions.



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