Iran intensifies pressure on Pak to hand over Jundallah chief

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Islamabad, Oct. 24 (ANI): Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar has asked Pakistan to immediately hand over Abdolmalek Rigi, the chief of the militant Sunni Muslim group Jundullah, to Tehran, saying the country's intelligence officials have sufficient evidence to prove his presence in Pakistan.

"We have documents that show Rigi travels readily to Pakistan...we are here to ask Pakistan to hand over Rigi to Iran," The Dawn quoted Najjar, who arrived here to meet his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik, as saying.

Not much was revealed by either side about the outcome of the talks which were aimed at ending the deadlock between the two countries over the issue of Jundallah, a terrorist organization that Iran blames for orchestrating a recent attack on the Revolutionary Guards.

The suicide attack in Pishin killed at least 42 people, including IRG deputy commander General Nur Ali Shushtari.

According to sources, Najjar very categorically told Malik that a row over Rigi was "not in the interest of the two countries good neighbourly relations."

He also proposed coordinated operations in the border areas to eliminate Jundallah, but Pakistan did approve the proposal, as most of its security forces are overstretched by the operation in South Waziristan.

Pakistan repeatedly insisted that Rigi was not in Pakistan and Jundallah operated in a 'triangle region' straddling Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran, making it harder to act against the group which had its bases in Afghanistan.

Najjar is also expected to meet Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday to press Iran's demand for action against the group. (ANI)

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