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Iran and Pakistan to Restore Relations Following Uncommon Cross-Border Missile Attacks

Relations between Iran and Pakistan had strained after missile strikes last week that left several people dead on both sides of their shared border. However, diplomatic relations appear to resume following mutual agreements between Pakistan and Iran. According to Pakistan’s foreign ministry, both countries have agreed to return their ambassadors to their respective posts by Jan. 26. Diplomatic relations have recalibrated following the phone call between the foreign ministers.

Both countries have also confirmed that Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian will visit Islamabad next week. The conciliatory gestures come almost a week after Iran struck targets in Pakistan’s Balochistan region with dozens of missiles and drones. The strikes targeted sites associated with the Jaish al-Adl group, a Baloch terrorist group opposed to Tehran, which has carried out several previous attacks on targets inside Iran.

Jaish al-Adl is reportedly allied with the ISIS terrorist group. Following the Iranian strikes, Pakistan condemned them as a “blatant violation” of its sovereignty. Tensions escalated when Pakistan launched its own missile strikes against targets in Iran’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchistan province. The strikes reportedly hit sites linked to the Baloch Liberation Front, a group at odds with the Pakistani state.

The rare missile exchange served to fuel concerns about broader conflict in a volatile region. However, reconciliation between the two South Asian neighbors wasn’t long in coming. Pakistan’s acting prime minister described Iran as “our neighbor and a fellow Muslim nation” and expressed hope that both countries would overcome minor irritants. Amid ongoing security issues, Iran and Pakistan acknowledge the need for closer cooperation in addressing security concerns.

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