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Pakistan Recalls Ambassador from Iran after Airspace Violation

Foreign Office spokesperson says Islamabad is also suspending all upcoming high-level visits planned between neighboring countries

by Staff Report

File photo of Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch

Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch on Wednesday announced that Pakistan is recalling its ambassador from Iran over Tehran’s “unprovoked and blatant breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty,” adding the Iranian ambassador has also been instructed to not return to Islamabad.

“Last night’s unprovoked and blatant breach of Pakistan’s sovereignty by Iran is a violation of international law and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,” she told a media briefing. “This illegal act is completely unacceptable and has no justification whatsoever. Pakistan reserves the right to respond to this illegal act. The responsibility for the consequences will lie squarely with Iran,” she said, adding this had been conveyed to the Iranian government.

“We have also informed them [Iran] that Pakistan has decided to recall its ambassador from Iran and that the Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan who is currently visiting Iran may not return for the time being,” she said. “We have also decided to suspend all high-level visits, which were ongoing or were planned between Pakistan and Iran, in coming days,” she added.

Earlier, the Foreign Office had issued a “strong condemnation” of Iran’s “unprovoked violation” of its airspace after Tehran on Tuesday night used drones and missile to target a mosque in Balochistan’s Panjgur town. The airstrike, which Iran’s state media has claimed targeted a base of the Jaish al-Adl militant group, struck a mosque, killing two children and injuring three girls.

“This violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty is completely unacceptable and can have serious consequences,” read the Foreign Office’s earlier rejoinder, which regretted that the “illegal act” had occurred despite the existence of several channels of communication between Pakistan and Iran. It further stressed that Pakistan has always maintained terrorism was a common regional threat that required coordinated action. “Such unilateral acts are not in conformity with good neighborly relations and can seriously undermine bilateral trust and confidence,” it added.

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