Iranian guard not killed on Pakistani soil: Pakistan

Islamabad, March 27: Pakistan Thursday promised Iran all help in locating a group of five kidnapped Iranian guards, one of whom was killed by captors this month, but asserted that he or others were not present on its soil.

The Pakistani foreign ministry made the remarks a day after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani issued a warning to the country after the reported execution of the Iranian soldier, Xinhua reported.

President Rouhani spoke to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday and demanded stern and fast action from Islamabad to secure the release of the abducted soldiers.

A militant group Jaish Al-Adl had claimed responsibility for kidnapping Iranian border guards Feb 6. The group also released a video of the abducted soldiers.

Pakistan foreign ministry spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said her country would extend all possible cooperation to Iran for the recovery of the guards.

“Our authorities combed the entire area where the guards were supposedly kidnapped. It has been done repeatedly, yet there were no signs indicating that the missing guards were brought to Pakistan,” she said.

“We asked the government of Iran to provide us information. The five Iranian Border Guards disappeared 10 km or 15 km inside Iranian territory in Sistan-Balochistan province and Iran approached Pakistan to help it in locating where they were taken,” she added.

The spokesperson said President Rouhani and Prime Minister Sharif also discussed this issue on telephone and the tone of discussion was very polite.

The Iranian guards went missing at least 5-10 km inside Sistan and Jaish-ul-Adl claimed responsibility, she stated.

“We are ready to help in locating these missing guards wherever they are. Our cooperation will continue as we have done in the past. This was also acknowledged by the Iranian leadership and officials. So far, our investigations and search have not given us any clues that those guards were present in Pakistani territory,” she concluded.

IANS