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ISLAMABAD: As the world is constantly calling for an inclusive new government in Afghanistan, Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Wednesday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan will decide whether to recognise Taliban government or not.

Speaking at a presser here, he said that ‘attempts to make us a scapegoat have failed and now no super power of the world can bypass Pakistan’.

On the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, he added, Pakistan has offered a special package of transit visa to Afghan diplomats and high officials on their arrival at Islamabad.

“The government has decided to keep all Pakistani airports open round-the-clock for foreign diplomats, journalists, and high officials of IMF [international Monetary Fund], World Bank etc who are coming to Pakistan from Afghanistan,” he added.

He said that the immigration department, Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and other concerned departments are available on airports to facilitate all those coming from Afghanistan.

Rejecting the false propaganda of Indian media regarding the situation on Torkham and Chaman borders, he added, there were no Afghan immigrants present over there.

“The situation on these two borders remained peaceful. The border crossings with Afghanistan are open for movement, trade and transit visa facility,” he maintained.

Will bring back all Pakistanis from Afghanistan within two days: Rashid

However, he said that personnel of civil armed forces, law enforcement agencies and the government officials were on high alert and everything was under control on borders.

Since mid-August, he said at least 900 diplomats and other people associated with embassies of different countries had been evacuated from Afghanistan.

Three buses carrying Pakistani nationals had returned home via Torkham border after the ouster of Ghani’s government, he said, adding that 613 Pakistani nationals have arrived so far.

The minister said that at present, around 100-120 Pakistani nationals were still stranded in Afghanistan, however, the mission to evacuate them would be completed within a two days.

Responding to a question, he said that it was due to diplomatic efforts made by Pakistan, United States of America which compelled Afghan Taliban to come on a negotiation table.

Pakistan’s efforts for peace process in Afghanistan would be remembered long, he said, adding lasting peace in Afghanistan was in the best interest of Pakistan.

“We will not allow anyone to use our soil against any country [and] at the same time, we are going to make it clear that we won’t tolerate if any other country allows its land to be used against Pakistan,” he maintained.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had tried to convince Ashraf Ghani, the ex-Afghan president, to hold talks with Taliban but he could not be convinced.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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