Pakistan, Iran reach agreement to de-escalate tensions

NEW DELHI: Pakistan and Iran have reached an agreement to de-escalate tensions following recent deadly airstrikes on militant targets in their respective territories, reported AFP.
The airstrikes took place in the Baluchistan region, which is split between the two countries. These military actions had further fueled regional tensions that were already heightened due to the Israel-Hamas conflict.
On Tuesday night, Iran conducted a missile and drone attack on what it called “terrorist” targets in Pakistan. In response, Pakistan struck militant targets inside Iran on Thursday. This led to Pakistan recalling its ambassador from Tehran and blocking Iran’s envoy from returning to Islamabad.
The United Nations, United States appealed for restraint, with China offering to mediate.
Meanwhile, after a phone conversation between Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani and his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, both sides agreed “close coordination on counter terrorism and other aspects of mutual concern should be strengthened”. Amir-Abdollahian emphasized the importance of cooperation between the two countries in neutralizing and destroying terrorist camps in Pakistan. According to a summary of the conversation released by Islamabad’s foreign ministry, “they also agreed to de-escalate the situation”.
Amir-Abdollahian reportedly said in a statement, “the cooperation of the two countries to neutralise and destroy terrorist camps in Pakistan is essential”.
Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar held an emergency security meeting with military and intelligence chiefs after cutting short his visit to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. His caretaker government is leading Pakistan into general elections in three weeks, which have been marred by allegations of pre-poll rigging.
Both Tehran and Islamabad have claimed that they targeted their own domestic militants who were hiding on foreign territory. The collective death toll reportedly stands at 11, mostly women and children. The region where the strikes occurred has a history of simmering militant movements.
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