Saturday, May 25, 2024

Call on two sides to exercise restraint: China amid Iran-Pakistan tensions

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Following Iran‘s strikes on the bases of a terrorist group in Pakistan, China has called on both sides to exercise restraint and avoid actions that escalate tensions.
While addressing a regular press briefing on Wednesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said that China believes that the ties between the two nations should be handled based on basic norms governing international ties underpinned by the principles of the United Nations Charter.
On being asked about China’s statement regarding the tensions between Pakistan and Iran, Mao Ning said, “China believes that the relations between countries should be handled based on the basic norms governing international relations underpinned by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and international law, and all countries’ sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity should be earnestly respected and protected.”

“Iran and Pakistan are close neighbours and major Islamic countries. We call on the two sides to exercise restraint, avoid actions that escalate the tension and jointly keep the region peaceful and stable,” she added.

On Tuesday, Iran attacked the headquarters of a terrorist group opposed to Tehran with drones and missiles in Pakistan, Al Arabiya News reported citing Tasnim news agency. Two “important headquarters” of Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice) in Pakistan were “destroyed,” Al Arabiya News reported citing Tasnim News Agency.

The strikes were concentrated in an area in Pakistan’s Balochistan where “one of the largest headquarters” of Jaish al-Adl was located, the report said. Formed in 2012, Jaish al-Adl, designated as a “terrorist” organization by Iran, is a Sunni terrorist group that operates in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, Al Arabiya News reported.Over the years, Jaish al-Adl has launched numerous attacks on Iranian security forces. In December, Jaish al-Adl took responsibility for an attack on a police station in Sistan-Balochistan that claimed the lives of at least 11 police personnel, according to Al Arabiya News reported.Pakistan termed the Iranian airstrike an ‘unprovoked’ and ‘blatant’ breach of its sovereignty, Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday. Pakistan also affirmed its right to respond against Iran and said that Tehran would be responsible for further consequences.

“Last night’s unprovoked and blatant breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty by Iran is a violation of international law and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said in a statement.

The statement read further, “This illegal act is completely unacceptable and has no justification whatsoever. Pakistan reserves the right to respond to this illegal act. The responsibility for the consequences will lie squarely with Iran.”

Pakistan also recalled its ambassador from Tehran and expelled the Iranian envoy over its response to the attack.

The statement said, “We have conveyed this message to the Iranian Government. We have also informed them that Pakistan has decided to recall its ambassador from Iran and that the Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan who is currently visiting Iran may not return for the time being. We have also decided to suspend all high-level visits that were ongoing or were planned between Pakistan and Iran in the coming days.”

Meanwhile, Pakistan Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilheld a telephonic conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir Abdollahian on Wednesday and said that the airstrikes in Balochistan have caused serious damage to bilateral ties between the two countries, the Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an official statement.

“Expressing Pakistan’s unreserved condemnation of the attack, the Foreign Minister added that the incident has caused serious damage to bilateral ties between Pakistan and Iran. The Foreign Minister added that Pakistan reserved the right to respond to this provocative act,” Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The Pakistani foreign minister also underscored that the attack conducted by Iran inside Pakistani territory on Tuesday was not only a serious breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty but was also an egregious violation of international law and the spirit of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Iran.

As per the official statement, Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, who is currently leading the Pakistan delegation to the Ministerial Meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement in Kampala, Uganda, received a telephone call from Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein-Amir Abdollahian.

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