Pakistan said Thursday Iranian border guards were never brought to Pakistan after being abducted by a militant group, according to Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam.
"Our authorities in security agencies confirmed that they had no indication that these guards were brought to Pakistan and at the same time there is absolutely no indication that they were released in Pakistan," said Aslam.
Iranian officials reject that claim.
Esmail Kosari is the deputy chairman of Iran’s Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Esmail Kosari. Last week, Iran’s Fars news agency quoted Kosari as saying that “Four of the five abducted Iranian border guards have been handed over to Iranian Embassy officials in Pakistan.”
Fars did not give any details of when the release took place or what brought it about.
The abduction in early February heightened regional and sectarian tensions. Iran had said the guards were taken into Pakistan and it threatened to send troops over the border to retrieve them.
The Jaish al-Adl [Army of Justice] said it is responsible for the kidnapping. It is a Sunni Muslim rebel group operating in Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan province, a predominately Shi'ite area that borders Pakistan. The movement said it killed a fifth member of the group of guards in March.