Islamabad | Foreign Ministers of Pakistan and Iran are expected to hold talks over telephone Friday evening as the two sides began to pick threads of tattered ties following their missile strikes against alleged militants in each other's land.
The development comes amidst officials of the foreign ministries from the two sides exchanged goodwill messages.
Pakistan conducted "precision military strikes" against what it called "terrorist hideouts" in Iran's Siestan-Balochistan province that killed 9 people on Thursday. The attack was seen as retaliation to Iranian missile and drone attacks on Tuesday, which targeted two bases of the Sunni Baloch militant group Jaish al-Adl in Pakistan's unruly Balochistan province.
Belying fears of escalation, the two sides are apparently trying to come back from the precipice. “Foreign ministers Jalil Abbas Jilani and Hossein Amir-Abdollahian would interact to ease tension between the countries,” well-placed sources told PTI.
The sources also said that talks would be held by the evening without giving exact time.
The high-level contact will take place as officials of the foreign ministries of the two sides exchanged messages of goodwill, showing that the tiff between the two neighbours was cooling off sooner than it erupted two days ago.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch shared an exchange of messages between Additional Foreign Secretary Rahim Hayat Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart Seyed Rasoul Mousavi on her X handle, saying: “Some positive exchanges.”
In an X post today, the Foreign Office additional secretary responded to his Iranian counterpart's letter saying he reciprocated the sentiments of “dear brother Seyed Rasoul Mousavi.” He said Pakistan and Iran have fraternal relations and the countries need to move forward to resolve all issues through positive dialogue.
He said it is important to restore trust and confidence that has always defined bilateral relations between the two countries. “Our common challenges including terrorism require coordinated action,” he added.
Mousavi said he believed that Iran's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the endpoint of the prevailing tensions between the two countries. “Leaders and high officials of both countries know that only terrorists and enemies of both countries benefit from the existing tension between the two neighbouring countries,” he wrote on X in Persian.
Meanwhile, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has summoned separate meetings of the federal cabinet and the National Security Committee (NSC) to discuss the situation arising out of Pak-Iran tension.
Kakar was also set to preside over the meeting of his cabinet to discuss the Iran situation.
Kakar, who was in Davos to attend the World Economic Forum, cut his trip short to return home on Thursday. Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani too returned from a trip to Uganda.