India, Iran may expand ties to counter terror in region - Kogonuso

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Mar 6, 2019

India, Iran may expand ties to counter terror in region

India is exploring the possibility of expanding its anti-terror partnership with Iran to counter terrorist activities allegedly launched from Pakistan’s soil, sources told ET.

A day before the Pulwama terror attack by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad last month, a suicide bomber had killed 27 elite Revolutionary Guards and left several others wounded in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan border province. The Jaish al-Adl, a terrorist group based in Pakistan and Sistan-Baluchestan, has claimed responsibility for the Iran attack.

India and Iran accuse Pakistan and its intelligence service, the ISI, of lending support to terror outfits operating out of the country.

"India has ramped up its efforts to combat terrorist organisations on Pakistani soil and the Iranian and Indian governments have agreed to cooperate more closely on combating terrorism in the region," analyst Brian M Perkins wrote in an article titled ‘Iran: Jaish al-Adl Attack Could See Increased Iran-India Cooperation’, for leading US think-tank Jamestown Foundation. “Such an agreement could see an escalation of surreptitious military operations within Pakistan by its neighbours.”

Major general Qassem Soleimani, the head of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ (IRGC’s) Quds Force (an elite unit), has warned Pakistan of retaliation if the Pakistan army and the ISI fail to act against what he termed as “state-sponsored terror groups”. The Quds Force has been at the forefront of the fight against the ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

Iran’s Far News Agency recently quoted major general Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of the IRGC, as saying, "We believe this silence is kind of support for this group and the Pakistani intelligence organisation should account for it. Pakistan should also know that it should pay the cost for the Pakistani intelligence organisation's support for Jaish al-Zolm (as Jaish ul-Adl is called in Iran) from now on and this price will no doubt be very heavy for them."

The general added that if Pakistan does not comply with its responsibilities, Iran “reserves the right of confrontation against these peripheral threats at the borders, based on international law and rules, and will adopt compensatory measures to punish the terrorists who are mercenaries of the regional and trans-regional states' spy agencies."

According to Far News Agency, Soleimani issued a stern warning to Pakistan saying, “I have this question for the Pakistani government: where are you heading to? You have caused unrest along borders with all your neighbours and do you have any other neighbour left that you want to stir insecurity for."

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