Iran-Pakistan fallout over Bahrain | world | Hindustan Times
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Iran-Pakistan fallout over Bahrain

Diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Iran are under a cloud after the Iranian government protested recruitment of Pakistani military officials into the Bahraini police forces.

world Updated: Apr 08, 2011 23:48 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad

Diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Iran are under a cloud after the Iranian government protested recruitment of Pakistani military officials into the Bahraini police forces.

Pakistan's charge d'affairs in Tehran was summoned to Iran's foreign ministry earlier this month where deputy foreign minister Behrouz Kamalvandi conveyed his country's reservations over the 'recruitment for Bahrain's armed forces and police' in Pakistan. He warned that if the recruitment was not stopped, it would have serious ramifications for diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Iran.

However, the Pakistan government is believed to have given blessings to the recruitment, which is being conducted through private contractors. More than a hundred retired army men are now on their way to Bahrain to serve in that country's riot police and defence forces.

Plans are also being finalised to send regular Pakistan army contingents to Saudi Arabia and possibly Bahrain, officials have said privately.

In March, Pakistan received Prince Bandar of the Saudi National Council who proposed that army contingents be sent to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain to prop up the monarchies in the two states.

This visit was followed up by a visit of the Bahrain foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, who confirmed that the Pakistan Army was willing to send its troops to bolster his government.

In what is being clearly seen as Sunni and Shia rivalries, Iran is annoyed with the recruitment of Sunni Muslims for Bahrain's security forces' because it blames them for crushing a mainly Shiite uprising against the rule of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa in Bahrain.