ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi has assured steps for the uplift of Balochistan by resolving the longstanding issues of the people of the province.
Addressing a press conference at the Interior Ministry Secretariat on Tuesday, Afridi said the enemies of Pakistan were exploiting Balochistan and using it as a tool to project a bad image of the country in the world.
He said he visited several border areas in the province and came across communities suffering from a host of issues.
“It takes three hours to reach Taftan from Quetta and I personally observed that there is no water, no infrastructure and no greenery along the way,” he said, adding that the other notable thing he observed was famine in these areas.
The minister said he held several meetings with the various stakeholders as it was the policy of the government to take everyone on board. He said he would also meet feudal lords in the future. He said he wanted to introduce cultural activities, including cricket, in the province as a confidence building measure.
With regard to national security, Afridi said no one would be allowed to play with the interest of the state.
About issues related to those travelling to Iran during the holy month of Muharram, he said that immigration counters had been increased from four to 13 and would be further increased to 20.
He said that pilgrims had no basic facilities like portable water, adding that he had issued directives for facilitating the pilgrims at the border post.
The minister said there was no regulatory body for the pilgrims to Iran similar to that of Hajj. He added that the federal government had taken concrete measures for the protection of pilgrims and provision of facilities for them.