Any foreigner or diplomat found travelling in restricted areas without permits from concerned authorities would be sent back to his duty station while a networking arrangement for regulating the diplomats and foreigners’ movement will be established between the interior and foreign affairs ministries and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).
These decisions were announced by Interior Minister Rehman Malik after consultations with all provincial home secretaries, provincial police chiefs and Secretary Interior in a meeting at the interior ministry on Thursday.
The ministry of foreign affairs was requested to re-circulate standard operating procedures (SOPs) among the diplomatic community, informing them about the decisions taken in the meeting.
Participants of the meeting also decided to bring under prescribed ambit the registration of vehicles and issuing of driving licenses to foreigners.
Monitoring banned outfits
The authorities decided to stop all proscribed organisations from taking part in any political or social activity in the future.
‘All those individuals of banned organisations found taking part in political or social activities will be put under Schedule IV of Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA),’ it was decided at the meeting. The activities of banned organisations will be monitored through community policing networks that will be established for intelligence gathering.
Movement of Afghans
Participants at the meeting observed that there is a need for making a comprehensive policy for the movement and camping of Afghan nationals in Pakistan.
The governments of Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa were asked for recommendations for allowing travelers from Afghanistan to pass through, using biometric systems.
The participants decided to call a detailed meeting on the issue and said the ministry of foreign affairs will write to the Afghan government, asking them to install a biometric system on their side at the earliest.
Access to mobile phone data
Malik said the interior ministry was seriously considering the request from provincial governments for allowing all provincial law enforcements agencies to access data from mobile phones.
“Modalities were being worked out for fast track availability of such data’ the minister was told.
He was also informed during the meeting that over 0.8 million cell phone connections without proper identity details were blocked on Thursday.
The overall target of blocking 3.5 million such identified connections will be achieved within next three months.
The participants of the meeting also decided to extend the Safe City Project to all provincial headquarters and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.
Saudi consulate staff leaves
Saudi Arabia has called back home all the non-diplomatic staff from Karachi after the murder of one of its diplomats in Karachi on Saturday. A 70-member delegation of the non-diplomatic staff, including the families of the diplomats, has left Karachi via a Saudi Airlines flight.
The consulate will have a skeleton staff left in Karachi, sources said, adding that Saudi government is seriously considering a proposal to close down the consulate in Karachi. A final decision, however, has not been made yet.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 20th, 2011.
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