The Foreign Office (FO) on Wednesday confirmed the downing of an Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) in Balochistan’s Panjgur area along the Pakistan-Iran border on Wednesday.
“The drone was hit by [the] Pakistan Air Force (PAF) as it was unidentified and was flying at around 3-4 kilometres inside Pakistani territory,” the FO said.
The FO statement added that Islamabad had notified Tehran of the development.
“Pakistan has already shared the information about striking down of this drone with the Iranian authorities, indicating that the drone was struck down by our security forces as it was unmarked and there was no prior information about its flight,” the FO said.
Official sources on condition of anonymity had confirmed on Tuesday that a JF-17 Thunder had shot down an Iranian drone which had ventured “deep inside Pakistani airspace” allegedly on a spying mission.
Security forces took custody of the debris after discovering the wreckage on Monday, but it is still unclear when the drone was shot down.
Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, which borders Pakistan and Afghanistan, has been the scene of armed clashes in recent months between Iranian forces and Sunni militants.
Tehran in April protested to Pakistan over a cross-border raid by armed rebels who killed 10 Iranian guards in the restive southeast.
In Sistan-Baluchistan, security forces also frequently clash with drug traffickers.
The province lies on a major transit route for opium and heroin being smuggled from Afghanistan and Pakistan to Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Pakistan strongly condemned the attack but made it clear that the incident happened on the Iranian side of the border.
The relationship between the two neighbours has also been complicated by the current turmoil in the Middle East.
Iran is increasingly upset over Pakistan’s decision to join the Saudi-led military alliance against terrorism.