The latest developments between Pakistan and Iran were again in the news today.
There were two particularly interesting reports.
1. Iranian border guards had fired into targets inside Pakistani territory on Monday.
According to The Express Tribune:
“Iranian border guards fired two mortar shells which landed and exploded near Peshuk checkpost in Pangur,” an official in Panjgur confirmed and said it has become a common practice by Iranian guards even after the issue was taken up with the Iranian foreign mission in Pakistan.
Apparently this was not made public by the Pakistanis immediately “given the sensitivity of the relationship with Iran and Pakistan”.
My two cents:
It was already clear that the peace pipeline project was not going anywhere. Today’s news just made it official. However what I will be interested to see is whether Iran will increase military activity and even attacks across the border into Pakistan. I don’t believe that the Iranians want to do this, but they may be left with no choice. The cross border attacks from the Pakistani border are hurting Iran’s deterrence posture. With so many foes and rivals on its immediate border and beyond, having a strong deterrence posture is increasingly important to Iran’s national security decision makers.
The same could be said about Pakistan, especially when Iran has decided to challenge its border by allowing India to build a port in the city of Chahbahar and ultimately have access to it. This port is quite close to the Iran- Pakistan border.
Before I go, here is an informative article by Fatemeh Aman on Iran and Pakistan. She is a great expert of this topic, together with my other friend Mr Alex Vatanka who will hopefully be publishing a book about Iran – Pakistan relations.