Escalating Iran-Pak tensions may weaken Waziristan offensive, warns US diplomat

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Lahore, Oct. 20 (ANI): The escalating tensions between Iran and Pakistan, following President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad alleging that Pakistani elements were involved in Sunday's attack on the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, may shift Pakistan's focus from its ongoing offensive against the Taliban in South Waziristan, a US diplomat has warned.

"Growing tensions with Iran at this time are just not going to help. If Pak-Iran tensions grow, that will not help anyone. The danger will be of Pakistan loosing focus on Waziristan," The Daily Times quoted a US diplomat in Islamabad, as saying.

Earlier, Ahmadinejad had asked the Pakistan Government to quickly apprehend and hand over "some security agents" to Iran who were reportedly involved in the Sunday's attack on the Revolutionary Guards.

"We were informed that some security agents in Pakistan are cooperating with the main elements of this terrorist incident... We regard it as our right to demand these criminals from them," he had said.

The suicide attack, claimed to have been carried out by Jundullah - a militant Sunni Muslim group - killed at least 42 people in Pishin, a town near Iran's border with Pakistan.

The victims included General Nur Ali Shushtari, the deputy commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards ground forces, General Muhammad-Zadeh, the Guards commander in Sistan-Baluchestan and at least three other Revolutionary Guards commanders.

Last month, an Iranian official had accused Pakistan's security officials of helping Jundullah gain arms and training in the neighbouring country's Balochistan province.

"We have told our Pakistani brothers a number of times that this kind of behaviour will not help either of our two countries. You (Pakistan) must act before there is disaster," he said. (ANI)

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