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Will Pakistan retaliate against Iran air attacks?

The airstrikes took place just weeks before the national elections in Pakistan and an unfolding war in the Middle East.

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Will Pakistan retaliate against Iran

ISLAMABAD: Iran’s air strikes on Tuesday night in the southwestern province of Balochistan, inside Pakistani territory, pose a risk of dragging Islamabad into a wider regional conflict.

The airstrikes took place just weeks before the national elections in Pakistan and an unfolding war in the Middle East.

The airstrikes, targeting the armed group Jaish al-Adl, claimed the lives of at least two children and left three others injured, as reported by the Pakistani Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Will Pakistan retaliate against Iran
Iran breached Pakistan’s airspace while Pakistani PM caretaker Prime Minister met Iranian top diplomat in Davos 

In response, the ministry strongly condemned the incident near the border city of Panjgur, labeling it a violation of Pakistani sovereignty and cautioning Iran about potential “serious consequences.”

Will Pakistan retaliate against Iran?

While the retaliation will not be in the best interests of Pak-Iran relations, there is possibility of Pakistan retaliation against Iran.

Kamran Bokhari from the New Lines Institute for Strategy and Policy in Washington, DC, suggests Pakistan might retaliate, possibly sparking a prolonged conflict.

He emphasizes the potential third front, in addition to Afghanistan and India, and questions Islamabad’s readiness for such a scenario.

“After Afghanistan on the West and India on the East, this could open conflict on a third border. I am not too sure if Islamabad is ready for that,” Kamran told Al-Jazeera.

Security analyst Ihsanullah Tipu anticipates both a diplomatic response and a military one. Tipu thinks Pakistan should seek a public apology from Iran, but there will be preparation for a military response if diplomatic efforts fall short.

Tipu, associated with The Khorasan Diary, said “By carrying out attacks inside Pakistan, it has given a kind of justification to Pakistan to follow the same path in response to target the sanctuaries of anti-Pakistan militant outfits”.

Mosharraf Zaidi, CEO of an advisory services firm and think tank Tabadlab, said Iran is trying to provoke Pakistan by dragging it into an unnecessary conflict.

“Pakistan’s response so far is exactly what it should be. The Iranians are looking to provoke an unnecessary reaction”, he said. Mobashir took to X, formerly Twitter, and said Restraint is the best path forward.

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