Iranian Foreign Minister to Visit Pakistan Amid Recent Tensions Over Border Strikes

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian is scheduled to visit Pakistan on January 29, amidst recent border tensions between the two countries. This visit marks a crucial step towards de-escalating the situation and restoring diplomatic normalcy.

The visit follows a series of events that began with Iran launching airstrikes in Pakistan against what it claimed were bases of the militant group Jaish al-Adl in Balochistan. Islamabad responded by targeting terrorist hideouts in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province. These events led to heightened tensions and the downgrading of diplomatic ties.

In an effort to reduce hostilities, the Foreign Office (FO) announced the mutual agreement for the return of ambassadors to their respective posts by January 26, 2024. Pakistan’s Information Minister Murtaza Solangi commended Foreign Minister Jilani’s efforts in facilitating one of the fastest diplomatic de-escalations in history.

Last week’s airstrikes by both nations have underscored the complexities of regional security issues. Iran’s IRNA news agency reported casualties in the Pakistani strike, including foreign nationals, leading to Iran summoning Pakistan’s charge d’affaires for an explanation.

In response to the escalating situation, Pakistan’s National Security Committee (NSC), chaired by caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar, convened to discuss strategies for reducing tensions and addressing mutual security concerns. The NSC emphasized the importance of bilateral dialogue and diplomacy in resolving such issues, affirming Pakistan’s commitment to peaceful relations with its neighbor.

The anticipated visit of Abdollahian to Pakistan, at the invitation of FM Jilani, is expected to focus on collaboration and counterterrorism efforts, as well as reinforcing the historically strong ties between the two countries. Both foreign ministers have expressed a commitment to working together to resolve mutual concerns, setting a positive tone for future relations.

This upcoming visit signifies a pivotal moment in Pakistan-Iran relations, offering a platform to address recent events and chart a course towards enhanced cooperation and regional stability.

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