December 29, 2020
The government of Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province on Monday ordered the head of a paramilitary force and other relevant officials to crackdown on the smuggling of diesel and petrol from Iran.
Pakistan and Iran share a 900-kilometer border frequently used for trade and by minority Shia Muslims who travel from Pakistan to Iran for religious pilgrimages. But the border is also the entry point of a lucrative, illegal fuel trade that authorities have struggled to crackdown on for decades.
In a letter to the inspector general of the Balochistan Frontier Corps, the collector customs and all divisional commissioners in the province on Monday, the Balochistan government’s home and tribal affairs department ordered “strict action against illegal smuggling of Iranian petrol/diesel in your area of jurisdiction,” adding that the relevant authorities “submit seizure report to this department within two days.”
Last month, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Islamabad for talks with the Pakistani military and government and reportedly also discussed border issues.