A pipeline of bile connects Iran and Pakistan.
Tehran on Tuesday publicly said the Sunni militants responsible for Sunday’s suicide bomb attack in southeast Iran had links to Pakistani intelligence. The country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRG) spoke of evidence proving Pakistan’s support for the Jundollah, the group that says it carried out the blast.
“This is significant,” said ex-foreign secretary Kanwal Sibal. “In the past, while privately critical of Pakistan and the ISI, their diplomats played down differences with Pakistan. This is unusually open, frontal criticism.”
Islamabad sought to soothe its neighbour. Abdolmalek Rigi, the Jundollah head, Pakistan’s foreign ministry said, was not in Pakistan and blamed “forces… out to spoil our relations with Iran.”
Both Sibal and Vikram Sood, former head of the Research and Analysis Wing, said Tehran’s statements indicated it must have evidence. “I doubt they’d blame the ISI without proof,” said Sood. He called the attack “Iran’s 26/11”. The Jundollah have killed before but “this struck the highest echelons of the IRG, the holiest of holies”.
Islamabad should worry: the Iranian regime doesn’t shy from revenge attacks.
“Pakistan may face further destabilization,” said Sood.
“Shia terror against Sunni targets inside Pakistan cannot be ruled out.”