Afghan soil won’t be used against Pakistan: Rashid

Minister says govt in contact with Taliban over the issue of TTP


News Desk August 23, 2021
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid addressing the media in Islamabad: AFP/FILE

The Afghan Taliban have assured Pakistan that they will not allow anyone to use the Afghan soil against Pakistan, while Islamabad was in contact with the group on the issue of terrorists belonging to the

Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid said on Monday.
Addressing a press conference in the federal capital, the minister said that the Taliban had also assured the government that the TTP would not be given permission to operate against Pakistan from Afghanistan.

Islamabad wants that Taliban take decisive action against the militant outfit. Pakistan has recently handed a list of “most wanted terrorists” affiliated with the banned TTP operating from the war-torn country to the Afghan Taliban.

Besides, Afghan Taliban chief Haibatullah Akhundzada has reportedly set up a three-member commission to investigate Islamabad’s complaints that the TTP was using Afghanistan to plot cross-border terrorist attacks.

The list was shared with the Afghan Taliban after they took control of Kabul at a lightning speed that stunned the world. As the Afghan Taliban prepare to form the government in Kabul, Islamabad has already initiated talks with the group, seeking action against TTP and its affiliates.

“A few TTP members such as Maulvi Faqir Muhammad, have been released in Afghanistan,” the minister told reporters. “The government of Pakistan is in contact with the Afghan authorities on the matter and have been informed that these terrorists were involved in terrorism in Pakistan.”

Rashid said that the region had become significantly important due to changing situation in Afghanistan. He added that long-lasting peace in Afghanistan was important for the region as well as for the world. “Peace in Afghanistan is a must for peace in the entire region, including Pakistan.”

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Responding to a question, the interior minister told reporters that no decision had been taken so far about the Afghan refugees, adding that only those people were being facilitated, who were entering Pakistan legally.

“A one-month visa is being issued to diplomats or representatives of international bodies such as the World Bank or the IMF [International Monetary Fund] upon their arrival in Pakistan,” the minister said.

Besides, he added, issuing visas to members of the Afghan cricket team, the government had issued allowed immigration of 1,277 people, including Afghanis and foreigners, while 500 people were still waiting for transit. He added that 874 people were also allowed to enter Pakistan via Torkham.

“The Chaman and Torkham border points are opened for trade,” Sheikh Rashid said, adding that the ministry of interior was fulfilling its responsibilities regarding the border security. He also said the people whose visas had expired had been told to leave the country and apply online for fresh visas.

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Responding to another question, the minister said that Rescue 1122 service was also being launched in the federal capital owing to the prevailing security situation. “The ministry has decided to purchase six drones and 192 security cameras for safety purpose,” he added.

About the security of the Chinese citizens in Pakistan, the minister said that during a meeting with the Chinese ambassador Nong Rong, he assured him of fool-proof security to Chinese citizens and companies functioning in Pakistan.

The minister said that international conspiracies were being hatched to harm the Pak-China cooperation, particularly the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). “We will not allow CPEC becomes a target of any external conspiracy.

 

“The objectives behind incidents like Stock Exchange and Dasu Hydropower Bus [attacks] were to destabilise Pakistan economically because the enemies were against Pak-China friendship,” Rashid said.

“Investigations into all such incidents are under way.”

He added that some culprits had been arrested and the government was well aware of all facts behind these incidents. “No one can become a hurdle in the relations between Pakistan and China,” he said.

(WITH INPUT FROM APP)

 

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