Pakistan, Iran restore ties by agreeing to reinstate ambassadors

ISLAMABAD, Jan 22 : Pakistan and Iran have “mutually agreed” to reinstate their ambassadors in each other’s country, the Foreign Office (FO) said on Monday, restoring bilateral ties downgraded following last week’s tit-for-tat attacks on each other’s territory.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian will also visit the country on January 29 at the invitation of cash-strapped Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, the FO said in a statement.

Tensions escalated between Islamabad and Tehran after Pakistan conducted “precision military strikes” against what it called “terrorist hideouts” in Iran’s Siestan-Balochistan province that killed 9 people in the wee hours on Thursday.

The attack was seen as retaliation to Iranian missile and drone attacks last Tuesday on two bases of the Sunni Baloch militant group Jaish al-Adl in Pakistan’s unruly Balochistan province.

“Following the telephone conversation between the foreign ministers of Pakistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran, it has been mutually agreed that ambassadors of both countries may return to their respective posts by January 26, 2024,” the statement said.

Information Minister Murtaza Solangi said Jilani “deserves all the credit for his visionary engagement and managing possibly one of the fastest de-escalations of the diplomatic history”.

The development comes amidst the reported visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Sun Weidong to Pakistan on a mediation mission.

China on Monday said it is maintaining close contacts with Pakistan and Iran to “bridge their differences” after the two nations conducted airstrikes against each other last week.

China on Thursday last offered to play a “constructive role” to ease tension between Islamabad and Tehran after relations between Iran and Pakistan nose-dived following the strikes.

The attacks have put China in a piquant situation as Pakistan is an all-weather ally, while Iran is warming up to Beijing in recent years enabling Beijing to expand its influence in the West Asia region. (PTI)