No room for non-state actors on our soil: Afridi

Published: September 17, 2018
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Shehryar Afridi. PHOTO: PTI

Shehryar Afridi. PHOTO: PTI

SHABQADAR: Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Afridi on Sunday ruled out the possibility of non-state actors operating from the Pakistani territory.

“There will be no compromise on national security and no non-state actor will ever be able to use Pakistan’s land in anyway,” the minister said while talking to the media in Shabqadar town of Charsadda district after addressing a passing-out parade of the Frontier Constabulary (FC).

While referring to the civil-military relations, the state minister said, “All key stakeholders are on the same page [on the matters of national interests].”

Responding to a query about US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to Pakistan and the latest visit of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to Afghanistan, Afridi said, “We want peace in the region” and “no compromise will be made on national security to achieve the goal”.

Shehryar Afridi assures steps for resolving longstanding issues

He said the foreign minister’s visit to Afghanistan was aimed at removing irritants over the decisions of bilateral interest and trying to put an end to the mistrust between the two countries.

“Pakistan enjoys good relations with Afghanistan [and our foreign minister affirms this in his visit to Kabul on Saturday],” he said, adding that the border with Afghanistan was being fenced to stop terrorists’ infiltration and illegal movement of people.

“The world knows that we have been hosting the Afghan refugees for the last four decades,” he said, adding, “They have been treated well during their stay in the country.”

The state minister said the prime minister in his first speech also talked about the importance of relations with Afghanistan, adding that high-level contacts could help reduce tensions. “Peace in the region is linked with peace in Afghanistan,” he remarked.

Replying to a question about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Afridi said, “The corridor is the government’s priority number one… there is no second opinion about it.”

He said the project was being provided top security cover at every level. “CPEC is our future and we are committed to implementing it in the literal sense.”

On the relations with China, Afridi said, “They will improve with the passage of time.”

Anti-encroachment drive sparing none: Afridi

He said, “The time has come to give a message to the world that we are a sovereign country and can take decisions on our own.”

Responding to a query, he said, “Working groups have been formed on the issue of Afghan refugees, strengthening of National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) and implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP).”

Earlier, addressing the passing-out parade of the FC, the state minister said maintaining the law and order situation in the country was among the government’s top priorities.

“Security forces, the FC and the police have rendered matchless sacrifices in the war against terrorism,” he said, adding, “The FC will be made an exemplary force with through training on scientific lines.”

He lauded the FC’s role for providing security for major sensitive installations in the country and for its services as part of the United Nations Peace keeping Missions.

On the occasion, 1,172 recruits participated in the parade. Afridi inspected the parade and distributed trophies among outstanding recruits.

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