Pakistan has rejected allegations by senior Iranian officials that it is harbouring the armed group, Jaish al-Adl, which claimed responsibility for last week’s attack that killed 27 members of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in the southern province of Sistan-Baluchestan.

Javid Hussain, Pakistan’s former ambassador to Tehran, on Wednesday said suggestions that Islamabad is allowing Jaish al-Adl fighters to operate freely within its border region with Iran are “baseless and completely false”.

“We do not allow our territory to be used by terrorist organisations to target our neighbours,” he told Al Jazeera as fresh strains between the neighbouring countries begin to surface.

“I can assure you that this is a great concern for us, too, and we are cooperating with the Iranian government to make sure those elements are apprehended and brought to justice.”

On Tuesday, Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, a senior IRGC commander, announced that at least three Pakistanis, including one suicide bomber, conspired with three Iranians from the Sistan-Baluchestan region to carry out the attack.

Major General Yahaya Rahim Safavi, the top military aide to the Iranian supreme leader, also denounced Pakistan’s intelligence services for backing “terrorist” groups, according to Mehr news agency.

Earlier, Ali Larijani, Iranian parliament’s speaker, had said that Islamabad “should be held accountable for this act involving the group orchestrating and conducting the operation from their territory”.

Amid heated rhetoric, Hussain, the Pakistani diplomat, said he does not foresee the tensions to escalate, saying that both the governments “are in touch with each other” at the national level in Tehran as well as the local level in the border area.

“There is a great deal of cooperation between the two sides,” he said, even as he acknowledged some “loopholes” along the Pakistan-Iran border.

“Both governments need to maintain friendly relations, and on the whole, we continue to maintain that relationship.”

Source » aljazeera