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ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad, on Monday, said that doors for dialogue with the opposition are open.

Addressing a press conference here, he said Shehbaz Sharif, the president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) should come forward by forgetting the past and start fresh talks on the government’s proposal of using electronic voting machines (EVMs) in the next general elections.

He further said that there is a war between the PML-N and what he dubbed as ‘PML-Sheen’ over the narratives of reconciliation and resistance. All the narratives of the PML-N have completely failed, he said.

The minister said that the power-hungry opposition leaders are not getting their desired appreciation from the nation. The PML-N has incurred damages due to its wrong policies and use of indecent and derogatory language, he said. There is no threat to Prime Minister Imran Khan from the PML-N and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), he asserted.

Ahmad said that a team from Afghanistan has arrived in Pakistan to probe the alleged kidnapping of Afghan ambassador’s daughter in Islamabad. We have already completed our investigation regarding the alleged kidnapping case, but the visiting Afghan team wants to interview the taxi drivers involved in the case änd they can question them, he said.

He said that he had already directed the Inspector General (IG) Islamabad police to contact the foreign office and hand over all facts with respect to the case to the Afghan team.

He said that 208 people came from Afghanistan to Pakistan through Balochistan border during one month and these are those people who have legal documents. So far, there is no influx of refugees or any others from the Afghan border, he said.

To a question, he said that foolproof security arrangements have been made for Chinese nationals in the country. “China is our all-time tested friend and the security of its nationals is our prime responsibility,” he said.

Investigation in the Dasu bus incident is under way and at the moment he does not want to comment on it further, he added.

He again warned the foreigners who are illegally living in Pakistan to leave the country within a month or get renewed their visas through the online facility.

Sheikh Rashid also announced to observe the passage of two years to scrapping the special status by India of Occupied Kashmir on August 5 as a “Youm-e-Istehsal” across Pakistan.

A meeting will be held on next Thursday to review the law and order situation in the wake of the month of Muharram and all chief secretaries and IGPs of four provinces will attend it through a video link.

He said that strict security will be ensured during the holy month of Muharram.

He said that the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has decided to issue Covid-19 vaccination certificates to the vaccinated citizens. A vaccination verification system for both local and foreigners is being launched in the NADRA, he said.

The interior minister said that he had issued directives to the chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the deputy commissioner (DC) Islamabad to take measures to further strengthen security of the Diplomatic Enclave and install surveillance cameras at all gates of the enclave.

About the Noor Mukadam murder case, he said that the police have arrested all suspects. He hoped that the killer of Noor Mukadam will be sentenced to death.

He also said that he had directed the DC and the CDA to demolish all buildings over different streams (nullahs) in the city till August 30, and he will himself supervise it.

The minister said that the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the NADRA had been directed to complete the rotation of officials, and 64 officials who remained in foreign missions for the last eight to 10 years had been called back and directives had already been issued to them to report to their respective departments till August 30; otherwise, they would be terminated from service.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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