Border crossing fun: Iran and Pakistan
UPDATED: Pakistani news channel Aaj TV is reporting that the Iranian guards have been released on a directive from the Ministry of Interior.
Our friends from our beloved neighbouring country are here! But why couldn’t they just have lined up for a visa like everyone else? Or is everyone misreporting?
News agencies are reporting that eleven members of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps have been arrested in Pakistan for illegally crossing over into the country. The Revolutionary Guards were detained in Mashkel and the police has seized two vehicles and is investigating.
Meanwhile, the IRGC is denying that they entered the country. According to Press TV:
Reacting to the report, head of the public relations office of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps
Brigadier General Sharif told Press TV that the detainees were not members of the IRGC.
“That part of the report related to Sepah [IRGC] lacks credibility and is not true,” Brig. Gen. Sharif said on Monday.
Another informed source told a Press TV correspondent that those arrested were Iranian border police who were hunting down fuel smugglers.
“In line with efforts to fight fuel smugglers, a number of Iranian border police forces chasing fuel smugglers entered Pakistani soil by mistake,” he explained.
This comes in a series of several back-and-forth statements from Iran and Pakistan on the Jundullah issue – the group that attacked the IRGC on October 18 and killed 42 people. Following the attack, Iran called for Pakistan to hand over the Jundullah leader to the country – a request which Pakistan said they couldn’t really help with because they believe Rigi is in Afghanistan. Obviously, this is all on-the-record stuff so I have no idea what the Pakistanis told the Iranians. Iran’s interior minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar was in Islamabad last week to reiterate the same and there have been reports that the Revolutionary Guards want to launch an operation to find Rigi themselves.
Now if the reports of the Revolutionary Guards being detained is true, we can expect to see an official reaction from Pakistan (along the lines of sovereignty et al), but this could also be a sign that given that Pakistan is busy with Waziristan, they’ve asked Iran to deal with the problem themself.
Of course, it really could just be the forces fighting the fuel smugglers…