Saturday Apr 20, 2019
TEHRAN: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Saturday condemned the Ormara attack in which 14 passengers were forcibly offloaded from a bus and shot dead.
"Strongly condemning the recent terrorist attack in Pakistan, just as PM Imran Khan embarks on his first, historic visit to Iran," Zarif tweeted.
"Terrorists, extremists & their sponsors are terrified by close relations between Muslim states," he added.
Zarif continued, "Iran stands with the people and government of Pakistan."
The Iranian foreign minister's condemnation came ahead of PM Imran's maiden visit to the country since assuming office. PM Imran will visit Iran from April 21-22 on the invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
Pakistan on Saturday lodged a strong protest with Iran for not taking action against the group behind the Ormara incident.
The Foreign Office sent a letter of protest to the Iranian Embassy in Islamabad.
"15-20 terrorists who camouflaged themselves in Frontier Corps (FC) uniform barricaded the road and stopped 3-4 buses traveling from Ormara to Gwadar on the coastal highway at Buzi Top in the dawn of April 18 and on the identification of the passengers, shot dead 14 personnel belonging to the armed forces of Pakistan. BRAS which is the alliance of three Baloch terrorist organisations have claimed responsibility for this terrorist act," the letter stated.
"After the incident, the terrorists who arrived from border region returned to that area," it added.
The letter pointed out that Pakistan "has repeatedly shared intelligence about these activities".
"The information about the hubs of these Baloch terrorist organisations in Iran, having training camps and logistics bases across the border, was shared with Iranian intelligence in the recent past, and on a number of occasions earlier," the letter read. "Unfortunately, no action has been taken by Iran in this regard, to date."
It further said, "Killing of 14 innocent Pakistanis by terrorists groups based in Iran is a very serious incident that Pakistan protests strongly. Pakistan awaits Iran's response to its request for action against these groups based in Iran, whose locations have been identified by Pakistan a number of times."
On Thursday, unidentified assailants stopped a bus on the Makran Coastal Highway in Ormara, forcibly offloaded 14 passengers after picking them with the help of their National Identity Cards (NICs) and shot them.