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Pakistan extends olive branch to Iran, says ready to work on 'all matters'

FM Jilani speaks to Iranian counterpart, stresses need for further cooperation on security issues

By Web Desk
January 19, 2024
Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. — AFP
Caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani (right) and Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian. — AFP

Following airstrikes on each other's soil, Pakistan extended an olive branch to Iran on Friday, proposing to tackle every issue with trust as their guide — days after tensions spiked as both sides launched air strikes inside each other's borders

The resolve came during caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani's telephonic conversation with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, according to a statement from the Foreign Office.

Iran carried out a missile and drone attack on what it called "terrorist" targets in Pakistan on Tuesday night, with Pakistan in turn striking militant targets inside Iran on Thursday.

Pakistan has recalled its ambassador from Tehran and said Iran's envoy — on a visit home — has been expelled.

The United Nations and the United States have appealed for restraint, while China has offered to mediate.

FM Jilani, as per the Foreign Office's statement, expressed Pakistan’s readiness to work with Iran on all issues based on the spirit of mutual trust and cooperation. 

"He underscored the need for closer cooperation on security issues," the statement quoted Jilani as saying in his second telephonic conversation with Abdollahian within three days.

Pakistan has also made it clear to the rest of the world that it does not intend to further exacerbate the situation, calling on Tehran to ensure that it respects Islamabad’s territorial sovereignty.

In another telephonic conversation with Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkiye Hakan Fidan, FM Jilani said Operation ‘Marg Bar Sarmachar’ was aimed at terrorist camps inside Iran and Pakistan gas no interest or desire in escalation.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar also cut short his visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland following the strikes.

The prime minister has summoned a meeting of the National Security Committee set to take place today, an official of the PM’s Office said.

Islamabad said it hit bases of the outlawed Baloch Liberation Front and Baloch Liberation Army, while Tehran said its drones and missiles struck militants from the Jaish al Adl group.