Rashid says some powers may try to destabilise Pakistan

Interior minister tells reporters govt keeping eye on Afghan situation


Our Correspondent July 05, 2021
PHOTO: EXPRESS

ISLAMABAD:

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad said on Monday India’s main spy agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), orchestrated the Johar Twon blast in Lahore last month, as these hostile agencies were out to destroy peace in the country.

Talking to reporters, the minister expressed the hope that there would be no repeat of the situation in the 1990s in Afghanistan, however, he stressed that his ministry on the advice of the foreign ministry and the armed forces, was keeping a “keen eye” on the situation in war-torn country.

“The mastermind behind the Lahore tragedy had links with RAW,” the minister said. “RAW and its subsidiaries were involved in sabotaging the peace of Pakistan and they are trying to destabilise the country through various tactics,” he added. “India has not accepted us wholeheartedly.”

Rashid appreciated the role of the country’s security agencies for exposing the elements involved in the Lahore incident, saying that a group had also been arrested in Karachi. “Another group is also under custody. Institutions will decide when to announce details.”

Afghanistan

“Pakistan’s armed forces and its institutions are ever ready to perform their national obligation,” the minister said. “The whole nation also stands firmly with the armed forces for the cause if national security,” the minister added.

Rashid said that the situation in Afghanistan would not be similar to that in the 1990s because the opposition, the government and the armed forces were on the page over the Afghanistan issue. “We are keeping an eye on the situation in Afghanistan.”

According to the minister, the fencing of the Afghan border would be completed soon, while it would take a year’s time for the fencing of the Iranian border. “The relevant agencies are on duty at the entry points of Chaman and Torkham borders,” he added.

“The FIA [Federal Investigation Agency] will ensure a system of electronic entry at the crossings July 30,” he said, adding that the interior ministry had asked the finance division to allocate 509 posts, keeping in view the situation on Pak-Afghan border.

Read Geopolitics around a changed Afghanistan

“Pakistan wants peace in Afghanistan,” Sheikh Rashid told reporters, adding that that if there was peace in Afghanistan, there will be stability in the region. Responding to a question, he said that Pakistan would accept the Afghans leadership chosen by their people.

Fake CNICs

The interior minister revealed that some 30 officials of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) in Karachi, found involved in making fake identity cards. Of them, he added, 19 officials had been suspended, whereas a joint investigation team (JIT) would be formed.

“We detected a gang, comprising 30 NADRA employees from Karachi, involved in preparing forged CNICs [computerised national identity cards],” he said. “NADRA will be purged of elements involved in issuing fake CNICs. NADRA chairman has been directed to get rid of corrupt elements.”

Sheikh Rashid informed the media that Prime Minister Imran Khan would visit Uzbekistan this month to enhance bilateral trade and economic ties. During his visit, the interior ministry would sign two accords with its Uzbek counterpart, he added.

According to the minister the accords pertained to on-arrival visa for five to seven days as well as the provision of free visa on diplomatic passport. The minister also announced that flight operations between Lahore and Tashkent had also been restored.

Replying to another question, the minister said that 1.2 million candidates had applied for 1,143 vacant posts in the FIA. The written test to fill the posts would start from July 26. About the ban on the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), he said the matter would be discussed in the next cabinet meeting.

When asked about the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), Sheikh Rashid said that the opposition alliance had “collapsed and its politics is over”. He pointed out that he had already predicted that Maryam Nawaz and Shahbaz Sharif would take separate ways in politics.

 

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