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Pakistan reopens Afghanistan border crossing after deadly clash

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Pakistan reopened a major border crossing with Afghanistan on Saturday, officials said, more than three weeks after several people were killed when troops from both sides exchanged fire for hours. The Chaman crossing into Afghanistan’s Kandahar province was reopened on “humanitarian grounds” after Afghan officials submitted a request, according to a statement by the Pakistani military. “It has been agreed upon by Pakistan authorities that [a] ceasefire shall continue to be maintained and no border violation will be acceptable”, the statement said, noting that Pakistani troops will maintain positions along the border. Zia Durani, police spokesman for Kandahar province, said the crossing had reopened after several days of negotiations.

 

Third Parties Seeking to Spoil Iran-Pakistan Ties, Official Warns

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A top Iranian national security official called for closer interaction with Pakistan to foil attempts at harming the two neighbors’ security and friendship. “We should not allow third countries, which are totally against security and good neighborliness between Iran and Pakistan, to have negative impact on the friendly ties between the two countries”, Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said in a meeting with Pakistan’s national security advisor, Naseer Khan Janjua. The two officials met in Moscow on Wednesday, on the sidelines of the 8th International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues. Elsewhere in the meeting, Shamkhani deplored a terrorist attack on Iranian border guards at the common border with Pakistan that killed 10 troops in late April, describing efforts to control the joint borders and fighting against terrorist groups at the border areas as an absolute necessity. For his part, the Pakistani official expressed the hope that closer security cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad would stop a recurrence of the terrorist attack on Iranian guards. Khan Janjua also said that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s recent trip to Pakistan has had a remarkable effect on closer coordination between the two sides in the war on acts of violence along the borders. Heading a diplomatic and military delegation, Zarif visited Islamabad on May 3 to urge Pakistan to capture and bring to justice perpetrators of the April 26 terrorist attack that killed Iranian troops in Mirjaveh, in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan. Following the trip, Pakistan’s army undertook to bolster its control over the areas bordering Iran.

25 killed as Deputy Chairman Senate Haideri’s convoy hit by explosion in Mastung

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The bombing took place near a local seminary shortly after Friday prayers. Deputy Chairman Senate Abdul Ghafoor Haideri’s convoy was hit in the attack. The explosion occurred right as Haideri’s convoy was exiting the seminary. A Senate director staff, Iftikhar Mughal, was reportedly killed in the attack. It is unclear whether the explosion was the result of an improvised explosive device (IED) or a suicide attack. Police say the attack is likely to have been a suicide bombing. Haideri had been invited to the seminary for an investiture ceremony, DawnNews reported. An eyewitness present at the event said the guests were leaving for a luncheon when Haideri’s convoy came under attack.

No force, terror outfit can hit Pak-Iran cordial ties: Iranian envoy

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In an interview with a leading Pakistani news channel the ambassador said, ‘There have been talks ongoing between Islamabad and Tehran on all issues; officials from both countries are in regular contacts and they can resolve all possible issues, if any, in their bilateral ties. He added that every single thing is being considered by both sides. ‘No individual or any terrorist group can affect the cordial ties between the two countries’. Regarding recent border attack which resulted in martyrdom of a number of the Iranian border guards in Mirjaveh, southeastern Iran, Honardoost said both countries are decisive to resolve these issues because they are dangerous for both. Earlier spokesperson of Pakistan army said that Iran and Pakistan enjoy strong brotherly and historical relations which will continue to grow in future. Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Iran and Pakistan have a border coordination mechanism which will improve in future. Meanwhile Pakistan’s Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz also hoped that border management commission between Iran and Pakistan will meet within this month to make sure border incidents may not happen again. Last week Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif visited Pakistan and met with Pakistani civil and military leadership to have better cooperation between the two countries on recent border incident. At least ten Iranian border guards were martyred by terrorists near Pakistan border in southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan on April 26, while patrolling at the zero border point. The terrorists fled to Pakistan’s territories after killing the Iranian border guards in an ambush.

Chaman border attack: IG FC says 50 Afghan soldiers killed, 100 injured in retaliatory fire

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Inspector General Frontier Corps (FC) Major General Nadeem Ahmed has said Afghan forces targeted civilian population while Pakistan targeted their check-posts, inflicting heavy casualties. At least 10 people including an FC personnel and women, children were killed and 47 others injured when Afghan forces targeted troops guarding a census team in Chaman on Friday. “Afghan forces entered Pakistan and occupied houses to take position and launch an attack”, the IG FC told a news conference Sunday afternoon. “Pakistani forces, on the other hand, targeted Afghan security check-posts, killing 50 people and injuring 100”, Ahmed added. “The forces targeted civilians and used children as human shields”.

Cordial ties with Iran necessary for Pakistan.

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Few days after a high level visit by an Iranian delegation to Pakistan, the media in Pakistan have started applauding Iran’s decision to settle the recent border issue with Pakistan through diplomatic means. They have advised Islamabad government that maintaining cordial ties with Iran as a strong neighbor, is quite necessary for Pakistan. Leading Pakistani news papers ‘Dawn’ and ‘The Nation’ in their editorial comments said that although recent border attack was a bitter incident for Iran but the country wisely preferred the diplomatic path instead of deteriorating the situation. Therefore Tehran sent a very high level security delegation to Islamabad and got very strong assurances from top Pakistani military and political leaders regarding the border security. On April 26 nine Iranian border guards were martyred and two others injured by terrorists near Pakistani border in southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan, when they were patrolling at the zero border point. The terrorists after the killings and abducting one Iranian border guard fled to Pakistan’s territories.  After the border incident Pakistani media were expecting a strong reaction from Iran but they witnessed that Iran took no other path, but diplomacy, because Iran strongly believes in dialogue and diplomacy as the best way to solve different issues. This is not the first time that Pakistani media is admiring the diplomacy of the Iranian government. When Iran signed a nuclear deal with the six world powers two years back, Pakistani media also at that time applauded the diplomatic efforts of the Iranian government to reach a peaceful settlement with the West.

 

Iran, Pakistan two countries with one soul: Pak interior minister.

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Interior minister of Pakistan Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Wednesday that in a meeting with his visiting Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, the two believed that Iran and Pakistan are ‘two countries with one soul’. “In the meeting with my brother Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Minister of Iran, we decided to send a message from this meeting to the world that the two brotherly countries of Iran and Pakistan are ‘two countries with one soul”, Ali Khan told IRNA in a phone conversation. The Iranian foreign minister arrived in Pakistan earlier on Wednesday leading a top-ranking delegation on a day-long visit. He is scheduled to meet with a number of officials of Pakistan to discuss recent border incident which resulted in martyrdom of a number of the Iranian border guards. Ali Khan told IRNA that his meeting with the Iranian foreign minister was ‘a meeting between two brothers representing two countries, whose people have strong cultural, historical and religious ties. “I think it is the wish of the people of Pakistan and also people of Iran that two countries should work closely in all fields”. Ali Khan added that the case of Iran and Pakistan is a case of two countries with one soul and there are too many common bonds between them. “Yes there are small irritants and we have decided to work on fast track basis to remove these small problems”. Ali Khan stressed.

 

Pakistan detains 30 India fishermen off Gujarat.

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Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) has detained 30 Indian fishermen with five boats off Gujarat coast, a second such incident within a week. The detained fishermen have been taken to Karachi by PMSA personnel. According to sources, all fishermen are from Porbandar in Gujarat and were on multi-day fishing expedition and were apprehended along the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). “We have learnt that five boats have been abducted with 30 fishermen on board. They all are from Porbandar”, said Manish Lodhari, secretary of National Fish Workers’ Forum.

 

Iran urges Pakistan’s hunt for border guards attackers

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Iranian President Hassan Rouhani strongly decried the recurrence of terrorist attacks against Iran launched from inside Pakistan, calling on the eastern neighbor to prosecute and bring to justice perpetrators of a Wednesday attack that killed 10 Iranian troops at the common border. In a letter to Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif on Thursday, President Rouhani blamed Islamabad’s “inaction” and “lack of necessary measures” for the occasional damages to Iran and for deaths of Iranian border guards or civilians. It came after members of the so-called Jaish al-Adl Takfiri terrorist group on Wednesday launched an attack from Pakistan against an Iranian border post at the southeastern province of Sistan and Balouchestan, killing 9 soldiers. Iran’s Police said the martyrs were killed by long-range weapons fired from Pakistani soil. Elsewhere in his letter, the Iranian president said the Islamabad government is expected to prosecute and punish the perpetrators of the fatal attack in order to “maintain and boost good and brotherly relations” with Iran.

Iran adheres to its commitments to OPEC: oil minister.

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Most oil producers support an extension of output cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC countries, and Iran would also back such a move, Iranian oil minister Bijan Zanganeh said. Zanganeh stressed that most countries want OPEC’s decision to be extended. The market has been oversupplied since mid-2014, prompting members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers to agree to cut output in the first six months of 2017. “Iran does not consider India’s decision as a threat”, he said about India’s decision to cut oil imports from Tehran in 2017/18 by a fifth. “India is one of our good costumers, but we cannot sign (a) contract under threat. India’s cut of oil imports from Iran will not cause any trouble to us as we have other buyers”, Zanganeh added. “Gas exports from Iran to Iraq are definite. The process of gas exports to Iraq may start at any time. There is a financial problem which will be solved soon”, Iranian oil minister also stressed.  “More than 50 mcm/d of gas will be exported to Iraq. On the other hand there is a little problem in exporting gas to Pakistan but our policies are clear”, Zanganeh said.

 

 

 

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