00:04 GMT +321 May 2019
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    A Pakistan army soldier stands guard in the Pakistani tribal area of Khyber near the Torkham border post between Pakistan and Afghanistan, Wednesday, June 15, 2016.

    Iranian President Declares Joint Border Force With Pakistan

    © AP Photo / Mohammad Sajjad
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    Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Iran on 21 April on a state visit to discuss security and regional issues, according to Iranian state TV.

    Iran and Pakistan will form a joint "reaction force" on the border between the two countries, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stated as cited by AFP.

    "Iran and Pakistan are going to form a joint rapid reaction force to fight terrorism inside their borders", Rouhani said, as quoted by his press service following months of intensified relations between the two countries over attacks on both sides of the border.

    The Iranian president also stressed that the two nations were "determined to develop inclusive relations and cooperation without the impact of a third country".

    Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan is on an official working visit to Iran on 21-22 April at Rouhani's invitation. Khan is also scheduled to hold talks with members of the Iranian and Pakistani business communities.

    The announcement of a new border structure comes after Islamabad said in March that Pakistani security forces had helped release four kidnapped Iranian servicemen during an operation near the Pakistani-Afghan border.

    A group of Iranian servicemen was abducted during a border patrol operation back in October. Their reported number ranged from 12 to 14. In November, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said that Islamabad had secured the release of five Iranian border guards.

    The decision to create a joint force was announced despite the recent spat between the countries. In February the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the Pakistani Ambassador to the Islamic Republic Riffat Masood in order to lodge a protest over the terror attack that targeted Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) personnel. Tehran also asked Islamabad to take urgent measures to find and detain terrorists operating in the area near the site of the attack.

    Speaking about the assault, IRGC chief Mohammad Ali Jafari accused Pakistan of reportedly backing jihadists who wage terror in his country, urging Islamabad to tighten its policy towards the Sunni Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group.

    READ MORE: Pakistani PM Imran Khan Pays First Official Visit to Iran (PHOTOS)

    The attack that claimed the lives of 27 people and injured 13 more took place in February, when an individual in an explosive-laden vehicle targeted a bus carrying a number of IRGC personnel in Sistan and Baluchistan Province in southeastern Iran. The Jaish ul-Adl extremist group, linked to the al-Qaeda terror organisation (banned in Russia), has claimed responsibility for the attack.

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    joint force, border, Hassan Rouhani, Imran Khan, Iran, Pakistan
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