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Iran 'threatens' to close its border with Pakistan

04 January, 2012

QUETTA: It seems that all is not well at the borders, especially at Pak-Iran border. The arrest of Iranian border guards at the hands of FC took an ugly turn on Tuesday when Iran warned that it would close its border with Pakistan for a prolonged period.

Earlier Iranian officials held a series of talks with their Pakistani counterparts for the release of the border guards but nothing has been done so far.

Three Iranian security personnel intruded three kilometres inside Pakistani territory in Mazansar area of Mashkel border region on Sunday and reportedly killed a man identified as Saeed Ahmed Reki. Ahmed's younger brother was also injured in the incident. Washuk district officials, supported by the Frontier Corps (FC), rushed to the spot and booked all three Iranians.

Iran had already tightened the security along the border, including coastal area, with Pakistan. It had virtually closed the Mashkhel borders following the incident disallowing movement of goods and people between Iran and Pakistan. "Iran will close the entire 900-kilometre long border with Pakistan if the officials continue to follow a discriminatory policy towards Iran. Zero Point is open for the trade. However, security across the border has been beefed up by Iranian forces," sources reveal.

Zero Point, a trade point between Pakistan and Iran, had remained closed for several months last year suspending the informal trade between people of either side of border.

According to sources, the deceased and his injured brother were allegedly involved in narcotic business. Local administration had registered a criminal case against Iranian security personnel amid tension between the two countries.

Iranian security personnel were implicated in cases of manslaughter and trespass in the international frontiers. Following registration of criminal cases, FC had handed over custody to the Balochistan Levies for legal proceedings. Iranian officials deplored this attitude and termed it negative saying that the Pakistani border security forces should cooperate with Iran in fighting narco business in the border region.

On the other hand in a tit for tat reaction, Iranian forces arrested at least 17 Pakistani fishermen and impounded three trawlers near Gwatar Bay following the incident in which Iranian security personnel were caught over border violation. The fishermen belonged to coastal belt of Balochistan and Pakistan officials have asked Iranians for their release of fishermen but to no avail. According to people in Jewani, an Iranian security boat entered Pakistani territorial water and arrested fishermen who were engaged in legal fishing.

End.

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