Last week’s ‘tit-for-tat’ missile attacks between Iran and Pakistan raised questions in the region and in Muslim world.
Pakistan had always been a valuable ally for Iran in international forums, voting in favor of Iran at the UN. Both countries share a 900km border that is often difficult to control without mutual support. Iran and Pakistan have historically been friendly neighbors and have much in common with shared religion, language and culture.
Pakistan and Iran both officially use the title of “Islamic Republic”, Pakistan adopted it in 1956 and Iran in 1979 after the Islamic Revolution, Mauritania is the third country that uses the title.
Politically, both Iran and Pakistan have supported each other since the ‘Cold War’. Iran supported Pakistan in 1965 and 1971 during Pak-Indo wars. Pakistan was one of the first nations that recognised the new Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979. Both countries face similar threats from the insurgency in Baluchistan region.
Iran’s strikes inside Pakistan was its third strike against anti-Iran groups in the same week, revealing Iran’s capability of targeting any perceived threat to the Islamic Republic anywhere in the region. As a result of the continuing conflict in the Middle-East since October 7 last year, Iran has been on high alert and is not taking any chances even with its allies such as Syria, Iraq and now Pakistan, sending a clear messageto Iran’s enemies.
In reaction to the Iranian strikes, Pakistan immediately retaliated against Iran but did not to escalate the situation, instead confirmed that Pakistan’s targets in Iran were anti-Pakistan elements, that were also anti-Iran. This indicates that both countries had the same objective and were able to destroy the targeted third party – terror network hiding in either border.
According to various reports from Pakistan military sources, they targeted the hideouts used by terror outfits namely Baluchistan Liberation Army and Baluchistan Liberation Front.
Iran attacked on Jaish-al-Adl (JAA) a terror group inside Pakistan which had been attacking Iranian border guards since 2013. JAA is an outshoot of al-Qaida affiliated Jundullah, which had gone into hidingafter Iran captured its notorious leader AbdolmalekRigi in 2010.
Although the friendly attacks initially dented both nations’ diplomatic relations, shortly after these were resumed to previous status and since then both countries have been observed to conduct naval exercises together and this status quo continues.