By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AA) - The gunmen, who killed 14 personnel of Pakistan’s security forces in the southwestern Balochistan province earlier this week, had come from Iran, Pakistan’s foreign minister said on Saturday.
"We have authentic information about the Baloch terrorists groups who have their training camps and hideouts in border areas of Iran near Pakistan border which they are using against Pakistan," Shah Mahmood Qureshi said at a press conference, aired by state-run PTV News.
This came just a day before Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan will leave on his two-day first official visit to Tehran, on the invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
“We have shared all information with our Iranian brothers and hope they would take action against these terrorists groups,” Qureshi said.
On Thursday, heavily-armed assailants shot dead at least 14 passengers after offloaded them from buses on main highway that connects Pakistan's commercial capital Karachi to strategic Gwadar port in Balochistan province.
"At least 15 terrorists entered in our country camouflaged themselves in Frontier Corps, [a paramilitary force’s] uniform, they stopped three to four buses on main highway. First they identified the passengers and then shot dead 14 of them," Qureshi said.
Among them 10 were from Pakistan Navy, three from Air Force and one was a coastal guard, he added.
"Today I spoke with my Iranian counterpart and shared all information about Baloch terrorists groups, their training camps, hideouts and locations and he assured that Iran will act on the information provided by Pakistan," Qureshi told media.
Iranian authorities have yet to comment on the development.
However, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif on Friday condemned the attack and said his country stands with the people and government of Pakistan.
"Strongly condemning the recent terrorist attack in Pakistan, just as PM @ImranKhanPTI embarks on his first, historic visit to Iran. Terrorists, extremists & their sponsors are terrified by close relations between Muslim states," Zarif said in a Twitter post.
To secure over 900-kilometer-long (559 miles) border with Iran, Pakistan’s foreign minister said, his country has decided to fence border with Iran to stop illegal movement and smuggling.
Qureshi also called on Afghan government to take action against those militants hiding in Afghanistan and carry out terror attacks in Pakistan.
"I hope that Afghan government will also take action against those criminals and terrorists who are hiding inside their country and carrying out terrorists attacks in Pakistan," the minister said.