Iran-Pakistan Tensions Escalate, India Advocates Restraint, China Evaluating Options

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New Delhi, 18th January 2024: The specter of conflict looms as Iran and Pakistan find themselves embroiled in tensions, adding to the current global landscape marked by ongoing conflicts. The world witnesses a striking example of the adage “An eye for an eye will make the entire world blind.”

While the Russia-Ukraine conflict persists for nearly 23 months, the war between Israel and Hamas has endured for over 100 days. Now, Iran and Pakistan stand on opposing sides, although the situation has not escalated into a full-scale war. Both nations have taken action against terrorist organizations within each other’s territories, a move that involved violating each other’s airspace and resulted in the reported deaths of 11 individuals.

Contradictory claims from local media challenge the official narrative. Pakistani strikes in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province claimed the lives of seven people, including four children, retaliating against an Iranian attack in Pakistan that killed four people, including two children. Both nations assert that they targeted terrorist hideouts.

In response to Iran’s missile and drone attack in Balochistan, Pakistan expelled Tehran’s ambassador and recalled its own envoy. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry released a statement on Thursday, declaring a military operation named ‘Marg Bar Sarmachar’ where they conducted effective attacks on terrorist bases in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province. The Pakistan Army utilized drones, rockets, and other precision weapons during the operation.

These clashes have heightened concerns in the already volatile West Asia region, compounded by Israel’s conflict with Hamas and the Red Sea targeting of commercial ships by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

India, reaffirming its zero-tolerance policy against terrorism, described the situation as a matter between Iran and Pakistan. Foreign Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal stated that India maintains a zero-tolerance stance against terrorism and views this as a bilateral matter between the two countries.

China, caught in a diplomatic predicament, advised both Pakistan and Iran to exercise restraint and pursue peace to de-escalate tensions. The recent missile attacks have placed China in a delicate position, balancing its alliance with Pakistan and its strengthened relations with Tehran, seeking to extend its influence in the West Asia region.