Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Iran assures Pakistan of no refuge for banned group militants

People Daily Online:
Iran has assured Pakistan that no one from the Baluchistan Liberation Army (BLA), a militants' group banned by Pakistan, will be allowed to take refuge in its border areas, local newspapers reported on Wednesday.

"They have assured that no man of the BLA will be allowed to enter Iran or take refuge in border areas like Sistan province," Pakistani Interior Secretary Syed Kamal Shah told newsmen Tuesday on his return from a Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting of Pakistan and Iran, according to the newspaper The News. READ MORE

"Even though there is no proof of any BLA men having taken refuge in Iran, we have given them intimation in this regard so that they remain alert," said Shah, cited by the newspaper DAWN.

He said that Pakistan and Iran were worried about illegal cross- border movement between the two countries, and disclosed that Pakistan had provided a list of 10 most-wanted terrorists likely to be hiding in Iran, according to newspapers.

Besides, the Pakistan delegation raised the issue of consular access to 94 Pakistanis detained in Iran, the interior secretary said.

During the meeting, the two sides underscored the need for further strengthening bilateral ties to combat terrorism and human and drug trafficking, the newspapers reported.

Shah said it was decided that field commanders and senior commanders would meet on monthly and quarterly basis alternately for exchange of information relating to cross-border movement, the report said.

It was agreed that interior secretaries from the two sides would meet every year to discuss issues of mutual interest, Shah was quoted as saying.