Tit for tat is a phrase which perfectly describes the relationship between Iran and Pakistan recently. Iran and Pakistan have long had a very volatile relationship but recent events are believed to be a catalyst which will exacerbate the already strained relations between the two nations. Iran carried out a missile and drone attack on western Pakistan on January 16th which according to officials in Islamabad, killed two children in Balochistan and injured three others.
Iran and Pakistan share a 900-kilometer mostly lawless border where smugglers and militants roam freely. Both countries have suspicions of each other supporting or at least behaving leniently toward some of the groups on either side of the border.
Iran’s foreign minister said the operation, in Balochistan, targeted the militant group Jaish al-Adl, which he described as an “Iranian terrorist group” in Pakistan. The Balochistan attack comes after Iran launched similar airstrikes in northern Iraq
Iran said it used “precision missile and drone strikes,” to destroy two strongholds of the Sunni militant group Jaish al-Adl, known in Iran as Jaish al-Dhulm, in the Koh-e-Sabz area of Pakistan’s southwest Balochistan province, according to Iran’s state-aligned Tasnim news agency.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, speaking in Davos, insisted that no Pakistani citizens had been targeted, only members of Jaish al-Adl. “We only targeted Iranian terrorists on the soil of Pakistan,” Mr Amir-Abdollahian said.
As a result of these actions, the Pakistani government recalled its ambassador to Iran and has blocked Tehran’s envoy from returning. Pakistan’s foreign ministry described the airstrike as an “unprovoked violation of its airspace by Iran and warned that “Pakistan reserves the right to respond to this illegal act.”
Islamabad said the attack was “illegal”, “killed two innocent children” and warned of “serious consequences”. Pakistan retaliated on January 18th by launching airstrikes against alleged militant hideouts inside Iran. The Pakistani airstrikes killed at least nine people. China has urged these nations to maintain stability in the Middle East due to the ongoing war in Gaza.