'Gunmen who killed 14 members of Pakistani security forces based in Iran'

Prime Minister Imran Khan paid his respects at the shrine of Imam Raza during a brief stopover in Mashhad

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and his accompanying high-ranking delegation arrived in the northeastern city of Mashhad on Sunday as the first leg of their official visit to Iran. He explained that in addition to deploying additional forces and helicopter surveillance, Pakistan already has begun fencing the "most vulnerable" portions of the border with Iran.

On Saturday, an organisation representing the families of Iranian victims of attacks issued a letter demanding that PM Khan ensure greater action is taken against armed groups operating in Pakistan.

Tehran has stepped up security along its long border with Pakistan after a suicide bomber killed 27 members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards in mid-February in southeastern Iran, with Iranian officials saying the attackers were based inside Pakistan. "We are happy that the Pakistani side has called groups which take inhuman actions "terrorist" and counters them as terrorists", he explained.

The Sunni jihadist group Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), which Tehran accused of perpetrating the bombing against its armed forces, is blamed by Pakistan for targeting its troops in its own Balochistan province last week.

The deadly attack happened Thursday in the Gwadar border district, where officials say a group of up to 20 assailants disguised as Pakistani paramilitary forces stopped several passenger buses on the coastal highway, and then went through identification cards of all the passengers before abducting and spraying 14 of them with bullets.

"It is costly and Pakistan has tight economy but considering its importance we have chose to fence it", Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Saturday.

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Khan said he made the trip to Pakistan's southwestern neighbor because he felt that increasing cross-border security incidents could drive a wedge between the two countries. Qureshi said he spoke to his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, and conveyed to him the "anger of Pakistani nation".

Balochistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran, is Pakistan's largest and poorest province, rife with ethnic, sectarian and separatist insurgencies.

"Iran is ready to meet Pakistan's oil and gas demands".

"I am pleased that the Prime Minister has reiterated that his country will never take part in any military or war coalition and the two countries are determined to see peace and security prevail in the whole region", he said. Iran alleges the terrorist organization receives support from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, charges both countries reject. He said despite worsening human rights situation in the Indian-held Kashmir, Pakistan intends to normalise its relations with India. "That is one of the reasons why Imran Khan has gone, to keep this clear. So far Pakistan has refused to be drawn into this Middle Eastern [fight]".

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