Iran’s Interior Minister, Ahmad Vahidi, is an ex-IRGC Quds Force commander. (Supplied)

February 14, 2022

Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi will arrive in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad on February 14 to hold bilateral talks, including discussions on border management, the Pakistani interior ministry said on Sunday.

The visit by the Iranian interior minister follows a string of militant attacks in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province, which shares a long and porous border with Iran.

Ten Pakistani soldiers were killed in an attack on a checkpoint in Kech on January 28, while another nine troops and 20 militants were killed in an operation to regain control of two military camps in Panjgur and Noushki from militants of the outlawed Balochistan Liberation Army (BLA).

Days later, Pakistani officials also said militants were launching these attacks from Afghanistan and Iran, and that they would raise the issue on the diplomatic level with both the countries.

“Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi will arrive in Pakistan on the invitation of his Pakistani counterpart Sheikh Rashid Ahmed,” the Pakistani interior minister said in a statement.

He will meet key Pakistani officials, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, during his one-day visit, it said.

“Talks will be held relating to Pak-Iran border management and implementation of the prisoner exchange [agreement],” the statement read.

Balochistan, the southwestern Pakistani province which borders Iran and Afghanistan, has been marred by an insurgency for the last two decades, fueled by anger that its abundant reserves of natural resources are not relieving citizens from crushing poverty.

Militants often target security forces along Pakistan’s 959-kilometer-long border with Iran. Pakistan has also been erecting a fence along the border, which is expected to be completed within a year.

On Saturday, Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Panjgur and spent a day with troops who repulsed terrorist attack on the security forces camp on February 2.

Arab News

About Track Persia

Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.