ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid has claimed that “a very dangerous terrorist group has been arrested from Karachi on a mission to conduct terrorist activities in major cities of the country, however, clarified that this group was not involved in the recent Lahore blast”.
Details of suspected groups could not be revealed at the moment, he said adding that they have arrested those involved in the cowardly act with one facilitator.
Keeping in view the prevailing situation in Afghanistan, Sheikh Rashid said Pakistan was installing electronic system on Torkham and Chaman for better border security arrangements to secure its 88 percent border boundaries with Afghanistan. Whereas, 46 to 48 percent area with Iran border has been fenced which would be completed this year, he informed.
Replying to a query he said, Afghan people were very happy with the announcement that Pakistan has not allowed its land for any offensive activity against Afghanistan. “Pakistan has to see Afghanistan as its neighbourhood, this is our new strategy,” he quoted.
Replying to another question regarding general elections in Azad Kashmir, he said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) would form its government there, adding, neither Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) could succeed there nor Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
He said Prime Minister Imran Khan would visit Rawlakot, Mirpur and Muzaffarabad after July 2, adding, the election rallies of PTI would show the trend of people’s favourite party, hoping that PPP politics in Azad Kashmir would end.
Replying to a question regarding Bilawal Bhutto’s claim where he called the Prime Minister a security risk, Sheikh Rashid said it was a great tragedy in Pakistan that politicians did not realize responsibility of their words.
He said that the game of misleading masses through words has become a common practice in Pakistan; however, politicians did not dare talk on the ground realities.
In another query, about not giving air bases to the United States, he said that the doors of dialogue should not be closed, adding, Pakistan wanted to take the whole world on board regarding the matter.
Pakistan’s fencing work along the country’s porous border with Afghanistan will finish by June 30. 88 percent of the fencing work has already been completed. Pakistan began fencing its 2,600 km border with Afghanistan in 2017 to prevent militant crossings and smuggling and has frequently attributed high-profile attacks to groups based in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan, in turn, accuses Islamabad of sheltering the Afghan Taliban militants who are battling the Western-backed government in Kabul. Both countries deny the charges. Country’s Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Saturday informed the National Assembly that work on fencing of border with Afghanistan would be completed by the end of this month.
Alluding towards the situation in Afghanistan in the context of US troop pullout, he noted that next two to three months were very important for Pakistan also. “Right now, infighting is going on at some 38 locations in Afghanistan,” he said, explaining that as many as 2,400 Afghan personnel had joined the ranks of Taliban.
He urged all the political parties to keep their bitterness aside and sit together for electoral reforms. All political parties should evolve consensus on electoral reforms for transparent elections, he said.