QUETTA: Chief Minister Jam Kamal has said that with the help of the federal government, the government of Balochistan will ensure security arrangements and all necessary facilities for the people intending to travel to Iran from Balochistan during Muharram-ul-Haram.
“Addressing our request, Prime Minister Imran Khan immediately sent the interior minister and his team to the Pak-Iran border for reviewing the arrangements and taking the necessary steps,” said Kamal while addressing a high-level meeting to review the security situation and facilities for the pilgrims to Iran.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi, Balochistan Chief Secretary Akthar Nazeer, provincial Information Minister Zahoor Buledi, Home Minister Saleem Khosa, Adviser to CM Khaliq Hazara, IG FC South Major General Sardar Tariq, IG FC North Major General Nadeem Anjum, COS Major General Kaleem, IGP Balochistan and religious leaders.
The IG FC and other officials briefed the meeting about the security management during Muharram.
On Friday, Afridi, Buledi, Khosa, Commander Southern Command Lieutenant General Asim Saleem Bajwa, IG FC North Major General Nadeem Anjum, the IGP Balochistan, representatives of the Immigration Department and FIA officials had visited Taftan border in line with the directive of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Speaking at a news conference in Quetta on Saturday, Shehryar Afridi, the state minister, said the federal government had been taking effective steps to foster interfaith harmony. He pledged necessary security arrangements for pilgrims travelling to Iran from Balochistan.
“The state is responsible for providing security and facilities to people, especially during religious events,” Afridi, flanked by the provincial information minister and religious scholars, told the reporters.
Afridi said that during their visit to Taftan border, they had a direct interaction with the Pakistani pilgrims who shared all their problems with them regarding facilities at the border, security and travelling arrangements.
He said he had taken some decisions on the spot, adding that it was decided to increase immigration staff and shift the immigration office to a new building in the border area
“We want to set an operational procedure for travel and accommodation of the pilgrims to Iran on the pattern of Hajj,” he said, adding, “On our next trip to the border, we will visit Iran to review the facilities being provided to Pakistani pilgrims on the Iranian side.”
After arriving from Taftan, the minister of state for interior met the Shia Hazara community in Quetta’s Alamdar road. He assured the Hazara community of full cooperation from the federal and provincial governments regarding the security of pilgrims.
“During the CM Balochistan’s last meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, we discussed the arrangements for Shia pilgrims at the Pak-Iran border. The PM had directed us to travel to Taftan and review all arrangement on ground and hear the grievances of the pilgrims on the spot,” said Afridi, adding that all demands of the pilgrims would be fulfilled on an immediate basis.
Buledi, the provincial Minister for Information, lauded cooperation from the Centre, and said both federal and provincial governments were responsible for resolving the issues of the pilgrims and make their journey safe and sound.
“The federal government has assured us of full cooperation regarding the safety and security of the pilgrims,” he said, adding that the provincial government had been securing pilgrims’ convoy for many years despite inadequate resources.
The minister said that the provincial government would do everything to foster interfaith harmony.