The five border guards are still missing, and now Jaish-ul-Adl has announced that one of them has been executed. There is no confirmation for this thus far, and the governments of both countries must be getting frantic, albeit for different reasons. The public in Iran is getting restless, and the pressure is building up on Rouhani to fix this before it is too late. The five were serving under the mandatory two-year conscription of Iran and their abduction has given a voice to all those against this law.

On this side of the fence, Nawaz Sharif has promised Rouhani that he will do everything in his power to find the guards, while the foreign office is making statements citing the lack of evidence of their presence on our soil, probably motivated by the instinct of self-preservation. The fact that the border guards were taken from the Iran-Pak border is probably the biggest clue identifying the country which they were taken to. Logic dictates that the Jaish-ul-Adl would want to keep their hostages in any country other than Iran and since Balochistan has many potential hiding spots it is safe to assume that the guards are being held here, in our country. There is no going back, but the government needs to ensure that the remaining guards are found at the earliest to save their lives and in the interests of maintaining ties with a friendly country.

A country’s sovereignty is only as strong as its borders, and ours are porous, providing the opportunity for easy access from all sides to anybody looking for a change of scenery. Apart from smuggling, and in reference to the current geo-political scenario, this has a substantial part to play in increasing the insecurity of all countries starting from India to Pakistan, extending all the way to Syria and Saudi Arabia, with Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan in between. The fact that parts of the border in all of these countries are vulnerable, makes channels for militants of all shapes, sizes and convictions to travel and cause mayhem wherever they please, changing location whenever the heat is too much to handle. These are also often used as proxies by one side or the other to indulge in the conflicts between various nations, making it virtually impossible for peace to be established in the region. Other countries aside, Pakistan needs to ensure that its borders are secure, from all sides ranging from the Durand line to our Eastern boundaries with India. Only then can the concerns of internal security be addressed effectively, and terrorism be wiped out without any new influx from any side.