Pakistani Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar is scheduled to head a security council on Friday that includes the heads of the army and military intelligence, convened urgently following the exchange of blows with Iran.
• Also read: Pakistan-Iran: A sudden rise in tensions in a destabilized region
• Also read: Pakistan accuses Iran of a deadly airstrike on its territory
“The prime minister has convened a meeting of the National Security Council to take place today (Friday),” a spokesman for his office told AFP.
The army chief of staff and the military intelligence chief would attend the meeting scheduled for the afternoon, a security official said.
Iran carried out a missile and drone attack on Tuesday evening against a “terrorist” group on Pakistani soil, which responded on Thursday morning by again targeting “terrorist hideouts” in Iran on Thursday morning.
According to authorities, a total of eleven people, mostly women and children, were killed in these two attacks.
The two countries have faced latent insurgencies along their thousand-kilometer-long shared border for decades.
They often accuse each other of allowing these rebel groups to launch attacks from their respective territories.
But never before have Pakistan and Iran, which until then enjoyed friendly relations, carried out attacks of this magnitude on their neighbor's territory.
These mutual attacks have heightened tensions in the region at a time when the Middle East is reeling from the war between the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas and Israel in the Gaza Strip.
The United States and the United Nations have called on both countries for restraint, and Beijing, which has privileged relations with both Islamabad and Tehran, has offered to act as a mediator.
After these strikes, Mr. Kakar canceled his trip to the Davos Forum in Switzerland.
He is head of a transitional government responsible for preparing for parliamentary elections on February 8, in which the army has been accused of interfering.