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Shehbaz says Pakistan reserves the right to defend, calls for peace

LAHORE  – PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday praised the military for carrying out “Operation Marg Bar Sarmachar” during which terrorist hideouts were targeted in Iran, saying Pakistan had the right to defend the country.

“Pakistan’s territorial integrity and the well-being of our citizens are paramount. Pakistan has taken fitting diplomatic and military steps for peace and security,” he said in post shared on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter.

At the same time, he talked about the country’s desire for having peaceful relations between the countries. “We seek peace between our two neighbourly countries but reserve the right to defend ourselves.”

Earlier, Shehbaz had expressed his shock over the Iranian missile attack inside Pakistan, terming the move “against spirit of our friendship and principles of good neighbourliness”.

The statement comes after Pakistan struck the hideouts of outlawed Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) and Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) in Iran – a move that came in response to the earlier provocative Iranian cross-border missile strike.

According to sources, Pakistan used missiles and rockets to target the terrorists around 40 kilometres inside Iran. Several BLA and BLF leaders are present in the western neighbour along with their families, they added.

Khawaja Asif – a PML-N senior leader who also served as the foreign minister – said Iran and Afghanistan would have to devise a strategy to tackle terrorism so that the issue.

Calling for peaceful relations between the two neighbours, he said Iran had overstepped and didn’t utilised the available options. The response was necessary, Khawaja Asif noted.

He said both the countries were facing the separatist movements and were required to tackle the challenge in a better manner.

Similarly, PPP leader Sherry Rehman said the targeted strikes on the terrorist hideouts had delivered the message to Iran, adding that Pakistan could not remain silent over the latest developments.

At the same time, Rehman, just like Shehbaz, stressed the need for peace and said that Pakistan would respond in similar fashion if Iran came forward with a message of friendship.