Pakistan, Iran to expand security cooperation after strikes

The foreign ministers of Pakistan and Iran have agreed to expand security cooperation, trying to overcome tensions that spiked after cross-border missile strikes on what they termed militant targets.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian visited Pakistan and spoke with counterpart Jalil Abbas Jilani on Monday.

In a news conference after the talks, both ministers said they agreed on collaboration to confront terrorism. Amir-Abdollahian said they were in Pakistan to announce "in a very loud voice" that they would not give terrorists any chance to endanger the security of their two nations.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Jilani stressed that the two nations had institutions such as strong channels of communication with each other, and that these should be fully used.

He added that liaison officers, agreed upon previously, would be stationed in the two countries at the "earliest date".

On January 16, Iran carried out missile strikes targeting what it said was a base used by a Sunni Muslim militant group. Pakistan responded with drone attacks two days later, saying it was targeting strongholds of separatist militant groups on the Iranian side.

Security remains unstable in the border area. Iran's Foreign Ministry says nine Pakistanis were shot dead on Saturday by unidentified gunmen in the country's southeast.