Iran has put its ties with Pakistan to test by demanding from Islamabad the extradition of those individuals who had masterminded Sunday’s suicide bombing which killed some of the top commanders of its elite force.
Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused “certain officials” in Pakistan for the blast which killed 42 persons, including two top ranking officers of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC). The explosion took place during the course of a reconciliation meeting between tribal elders of Sunni and Shia communities, which the slain IRGC commanders had organised.
The Jundallah group has claimed responsibility for the strike which took place in the Sistan-Baluchistan province, bordering Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“We have heard that certain officials in Pakistan cooperate with main agents of these terrorist attacks in eastern parts of the country. It is our right to ask [for extradition] of criminals,” said Mr. Ahmadinejad after a Cabinet session on Sunday night.
The Iranian Foreign Ministry also summoned the Pakistani charge de affaires to lodge its protest. The Ministry said it had evidence that the attack had been launched from Pakistani soil, the state-run Press TV reported.
Using strong language, Iran’s Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar accused Pakistan of “negligence” in its failure to hand over suspects. “Pakistan’s negligence to submitting terrorists to Iran cannot be justified by any means. The Pakistani officials should be accountable to the terrorists attack in Sarbaz town,” he said during a telephonic conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik. Hundreds of Iranian security personnel have been killed in the past during cross-border attacks led by Jundallah.
“Iran looks for a practical measure by the Pakistani Government,” Mr. Najjar stressed.
Press TV said Jundallah had established links with American operatives, and the group had received $100,000 to fuel sectarianism in Iran.
Meanwhile, the commander of the IRGC’s ground force, General Mohammad Pakpour, warned that a “crushing response” awaits the perpetrators of Sunday’s attack.