Pakistan offers cooperation to Iran over probe into IRGC bus attack

Pakistan offers cooperation to Iran over probe into IRGC bus attack
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Srinagar: Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has offered Iran cooperation in investigations into the deadly bombing of an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) bus.

The offer was made during a telephonic conversation between Foreign Minister Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif. A Pakistani delegation would now travel to Tehran to discuss Iranian concerns, Dawn reported.

This was the first high-level contact between Pakistan and Iran since the attack on the troops’ bus on Wednesday, which left 27 guards dead and another 13 injured.

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The attack occurred when the troops were moving between the cities of Zahedan and Khash. The attack was claimed by Jaish al-Adl.

Iranian media reported that  Qureshi condemned the attack, offered Pakistan government’s sympathies and expressed Islamabad’s readiness for cooperation against the militants who have been targeting Iranian troops in the region bordering the two countries.

The area has in the past witnessed several incidents and Pakistan had last year in October helped Iran recover some of the guards abducted by Jaish al-Adl.

Pakistan’s Foreign Office issued no statement on the conversation.

The Iranian foreign ministry, meanwhile, said Qureshi “strongly condemn(ed) and offer(ed) condolences over the recent terrorist attack in south-eastern Iran”.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had blamed the attack on “the spying agencies of some regional and trans-regional countries”. However, IRGC accused Pakistan of turning a blind eye to the group. IRGC Commander Maj Gen Mohammad Ali Jafari alleged that the group had sanctuaries on Pakistani soil. He said Iran would retaliate against the terrorist group if Pakistan did not act.