Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

In this file photo, Iranian soldier stands guard on a mound built to prevent drug trafficking in the Mirjaveh point where the borders of Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan meet, on Dec. 2003. (AFP)
Short Url
Updated 09 December 2019

Pakistan army denies reports of joint border patrols with Iran

  • Patrolling operations on respective sides are conducted by respective forces, military spokesman says
  • Last month, army chief visited Tehran for security talks

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan army spokesperson on Monday rejected media reports suggesting that Pakistani and Iranian security forces conducted joint border patrolling.
“News published by Dawn today ('Pak-Iran Forces jointly conduct border patrolling') is factually incorrect,” Director-General Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, said in a tweet.
He added that “there is no joint patrolling anywhere on Pakistani borders” as “patrolling operations if required are always on respective sides by respective forces through coordination.”

The English-language daily reported earlier on the day that Pakistan and Iran had conducted another joint patrol on the border near Taftan town in Chagai district, Balochistan.
Soon after Ghafoor's comment, Dawn's editor Zaffar Abbas clarified that “the confusion was caused by the official news agency APP, as the picture caption said ‘joint patrolling.’ Radio Pak also tweeted the same. But we will be carrying out correction in light of your statement.”

Border security has long been a major cause of distrust in Pakistan-Iran relations. 
In April, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that the two countries would form a joint quick-reaction force to combat militant activity on their shared border, following a deadly attack on Pakistani security personnel on the coastal highway in southwestern Balochistan, where 14 soldiers lost their lives.
On Nov. 18, Pakistan army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Tehran for security talks with Iran's political leadership and military leadership.
In May this year, Pakistan began the fencing of certain areas along the 950-kilometer border it shares with Iran.


More snowfall raises safety fears in Pakistan's southwest

Updated 20 January 2020

More snowfall raises safety fears in Pakistan's southwest

  • Pakistan’s frost-ravaged southwest braces for more snowfall
  • Death toll due to recent extreme weather reached 106

KARACHI: The Met Office on Monday said that more snow is expected in parts of cold-ravaged southwestern and northern Pakistan over the next 48 hours, where life has already been paralyzed by torrential rains and snowfall last week.
The countrywide death toll from avalanches, landslides and other extreme weather-related incidents during the recent cold spell has risen to 106.
New storms are expected in some of the country’s most isolated places in northwestern Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan, according to the meteorological office.
The news made residents fear for their lives and safety.
“A new snowstorm will create new difficulties for us who live here,” said Hashim Khan, a resident of Balochistan’s Muslim Bagh area, which was badly affected by the recent record snowfall. He told Arab News over the phone that road access to remote villages was still cut off and communities remained stranded.
Authorities, however, say that this time they are prepared to address all dangers.
“Snowfall is expected, but it will not be as heavy as it was last week. We are ready to tackle the situation,” Muhammad Younus, an official of the provincial disaster management authority (PDMA) told Arab News.
According to NDMA data, out of the 106 people killed by the recent weather-related incidents, 79 died in Azad Kashmir, 20 in Balochistan, five in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and two in Gilgit-Baltistan. 
At least 103 people have been injured, while nearly 1,300 houses were damaged, mostly in Balochistan. 
Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced relief packages for the families of victims, National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) spokesman Saqib Mumtaz said on Monday.
“Chairman NDMA Lt. General Muhammad Afzal visited the rains and snowfall affected areas of Balochistan where Director General Provincial Disaster Management Authority Imran Zarkon briefed him on the losses and damages caused by (the) recent spell of rains and snowfall in the Province,” he told Arab News.
According to the PM House statement, Rs500,000 “will be extended to the families of every deceased person,” while Rs50,000 will be paid to those who are injured. Financial assistance of Rs100,000 “will be provided for the families with houses fully damaged or collapsed,” and between Rs25,000 and Rs50,000 will be given to those whose houses were partially damaged.
PDMA Balochistan said it had faced challenges in restoring the province's land transportation network, as heavy machinery for road clearance was insufficient. The NDMA chairman said the equipment will be supplied, funded from the National Disaster Management Fund (NDMF).