Will respond to the intolerable Pakistan airstrikes from Iran

Will respond to the intolerable Pakistan airstrikes from Iran

Although a counterattack is conceivable, Pakistan would be cautious to avoid becoming embroiled in a larger battle. Analysts speculate that Pakistan would instead fortify its relations with Iran’s adversaries.

Pakistan’s Islamabad: Analysts warn that, less than a month before national elections, Iran’s airstrikes within Pakistani territory on Tuesday night in the southwest province of Balochistan pose a threat to draw Islamabad into a larger regional confrontation.

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At least two children were killed and three others were injured in the attacks, which Iran said were directed against the militant group Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), according to a statement from the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The event happened close to the border city of Panjgur, and the ministry declared that it was a breach of Pakistani sovereignty and threatened Iran with “serious consequences.”

However, what may such repercussions be?

Enhanced communication between the two parties
The strikes occurred in tandem with an increase in recent days in contacts between Iranian military and civilian officials and Pakistani officials.

 airstrikes from Iran
Iran has fired missiles at targets in Syria, Iran and Pakistan this week

Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, the acting prime minister of Pakistan, met Hossein Amirabdollahian, the Iranian minister of foreign affairs, on the fringes of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, only hours before Iranian jets rained bombs on Balochistan.

Hassan Kazmi Qomi, Iran’s special representative for Afghanistan affairs, met with Pakistan’s interim foreign minister Jalil Abbas Jilani earlier this week in Islamabad. During their meeting, the two talked on the importance of “enhanced coordination for regional stability.”
On January 16, the two nations took part in a one-day naval drill in the Gulf and Strait of Hormuz.

Low-level border conflicts have persisted despite these recent interactions and the two nations’ plan to establish a joint working group for border management in 2022.

In December, Iranian media stated that following the deaths of eleven police officers in the southeast Iranian city of Rask in the country’s bordering Sistan-Baluchestan province, Iran’s interior minister sent a warning to Pakistan to prevent the Jaish al-Adl group from carrying out strikes inside Iran.

After fighting near the Pakistani border claimed the lives of six Iranian border guards in May 2023, Iran issued a warning and demanded that Pakistan take “more action.” In the Balochistan province of Pakistan, cross-border gunfire also claimed the lives of four Pakistani soldiers a month prior.

A roughly 900 km (559 mi) border between Pakistan’s southwest and Iran’s southeast separates the two nations. Each other has been accused of providing cover to armed groups.

Baloch separatists who seek secession have been waging an ongoing, decades-long insurgency against Pakistan.
Conversely, Iran has insisted that Pakistan take action against Jaish al-Adl, a Sunni militant organization that has attacked Iranian officials and is purportedly calling for improved living circumstances for residents of Sistan-Baluchestan, the nation’s poorest province.

As Israel’s war on Gaza threatens to spread throughout the region, Iran’s offensive within Pakistani territory warrants a measured reaction, according to Mosharraf Zaidi of the Islamabad-based Tabadlab think group. Iran has recently carried out attacks inside both Syria and Iraq.

“So far, Pakistan’s answer is precisely what it ought to be. “The Iranians aim to elicit an unwarranted response,” he stated to Al Jazeera. “Towards this point, the real risk is the potential for Pakistan to become increasingly diverted from its primary role in the war and become even more embroiled in it.”

An army reaction?

However, Pakistan might respond with its own attacks, according to Kamran Bokhari, senior director of the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy in Washington, DC. However, this could result in a longer-term struggle for Pakistan.

This could lead to violence on a third border, following Afghanistan on the west and India on the east. He stated to Al, “I’m not sure if Islamabad is ready for that.”

Pakistan has expressed its disapproval by calling Iran’s senior diplomat in Islamabad. Security expert Ihsanullah Tipu stated that he anticipated Pakistan would concentrate on a diplomatic countermove as well as consider possible military alternatives.

There is both the motivation and the pressure for Pakistan to retaliate. The highest ranking Iranian officials could be asked to publicly apologize through diplomatic channels, but if that doesn’t work, Pakistan may potentially think about taking military action in retaliation for the Iranian attack, Tipu Said
The escalation by Iran in spite of the ongoing security war in the Middle East surprised Tipu, a director at The Khorasan Diary, a news and research portal that covers and analyzes security issues in the region.

He predicted that Iranian actions would affect bilateral relations in the long run, both politically and security-wise.

“It has provided Pakistan with a kind of pretext to take the same road in retaliation to target the sanctuaries of anti-Pakistan militant groupings, which Pakistan feels are based in Iran or perhaps elsewhere,” Tipu continued. “By carrying out attacks inside Pakistan.”

According to Bokhari, Pakistan might seek “greater alignment” with the US, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey as a result of the Iranian airstrikes.

It is in the best interests of each of these nations to ensure that Iran is contained. He proclaimed, “Iran’s conflict with the US is more intricate than the strike on Pakistan.

“Pakistan is seen by Tehran as a pawn in this unsafe round of brinkmanship with Washington.”

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