Top army generals of Pakistan and Iran are in close contact to coordinate the search efforts, including enhanced air surveillance and troop deployment in the border area where the the guards went missing, according to a foreign ministry statement.

In this photo taken on October 16, 2018, a Pakistani border security official (R) and an Iranian border official meet at Zero Point in the Pakistan-Iran border town of Taftan.
In this photo taken on October 16, 2018, a Pakistani border security official (R) and an Iranian border official meet at Zero Point in the Pakistan-Iran border town of Taftan. (AFP)

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has told Tehran that its security forces are trying to trace 11 members of Iran's border force who were abducted by militants this week.

Qureshi gave this assurance to Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, who spoke with him by phone a day before.

According to Wednesday's foreign ministry statement, top army generals of Pakistan and Iran were also in close contact to coordinate the search efforts. 

Those efforts include enhanced air surveillance and troop deployment in the border area where the incident took place.

The Iranian foreign minister had asked Pakistan to step up efforts to secure the border in a telephone call on Wednesday with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, according to Fars News agency.

Tehran says the 11 members of the border force were seized on Tuesday near the border with Pakistan.

Iran’s Fars News agency quoted Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari on Wednesday as saying that infiltrators had helped with the abduction.

Fars also mentioned the reports of tainted food on Tuesday.

An Al Qaeda-linked Iranian separatist group called Jaish al Adl said on Tuesday it had seized the personnel, which included members of the Guards, at the Mirjaveh border post in Sistan-Baluchestan province.

Iran’s Shia Muslim authorities say militant groups operate from safe havens in Pakistan.

Jafari said what he called “enemies” had tried unsuccessfully in the past to occupy Iranian turrets or border posts. “This time they were able to carry out their operation by bringing in an infiltrating force,” he said.

“They were sure that as long as the fighters and defenders are alert, they cannot achieve their goal, so they were able to kidnap these individuals by making them unconscious.”

Source: AP