According to an exclusive report by DNA, Iran removed anti-India banner in Pakistani consulate in its northeastern city of Mashhad. The Pakistani consulate displayed anti-India banners on 15th of August which is observed as ‘Kashmir solidarity day’ by Pakistan. But the local police ‘forcibly’ removed the banners at the Pakistani consulate in the middle of the night and called such methods ‘undiplomatic tactics’.
Pakistani government raised the matter with Iranian government, but shunted to recognize that it was a mistake of Pakistan. The Iranian officials asked how the Pakistan government would react if the Iranian consulate in Pakistan put up anti-Saudi Arabia banners, and whether it would have allowed the same.
In last one month, Pakistan has made repeated attempts to internationalize the Kashmir issue. The Islamic nation raised the issue at the United Nations, with United States, Islamic organizations like OIC, and other international forum where Pakistan is a member state. However, the Imran Khan Government got a cold response from almost every major organization, and major powers like United States, Russia also supported the Indian stance that ‘Kashmir is internal matter of India’.
Iran itself suffers from Pakistan’s state sponsored proxy war in its border provinces. A few months back, when India was suffered from Pulwama attack, in the same week, a suicide bomber targeted a bus carrying personnel affiliated to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, killing at least 27 people and wounding 20 others.
The terror attack has been perpetrated by a Sunni Muslim extremist group Jaish al-Adl. This group is affiliated with al-Qaida and is an incarnation of Jundallah, a terrorist group, which began a bloody rebellion against the Islamic republic in 2000. Jaish al-Adl was founded in 2012 by Salahuddin Farooqui, a militant known for his opposition to Iran’s support for President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war. Since then it has claimed responsibility for dozens of deadly bombings, ambushes and other attacks on Iranian security forces in the restive region, as well as abductions. This group operates in Balochistan and attempts to target and create terror among Shia Muslims.
Iran has had issues with Pakistan backed terrorist organizations for a long time. The two nations share a 965 km border which has been fraught with disturbances. On many occasions, Iran has accused Islamabad of allowing terror groups to use its territory to launch strikes across the border. Retaliating eventually after decades of peace at their end, Iranian border guards fired mortar shells into Balochistan on 26th February 2014 and on 28th September 2016, which landed in the district of Panjgoor. This incident of 2016 came about at the same time when India conducted Surgical Strikes in POK.
Pakistani based Sunni extremist group, are used by Saudi Arabia to wage proxy war against Sunni majority Iran. Saudi Arabia sees itself as a leader of Sunni Islam while Iran undisputed leader of Shia Islam. The Shia Sunni rivalry is as old as Islam itself, and therefore Saudi Arabia and Iran compete with each other for supremacy over the Middle East, and the larger Islamic world. Saudi Arabia uses Pakistan based extremist groups to weaken Iran, and this is a major bone of contention between both nations.
By removing the anti-India banners, Iran has showed that its loyalty lies with India, not with the neighboring Islamic nation which has sponsored proxy war against it.