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ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, on Thursday, said the government may shut Chaman border crossing for some time today in view of security threats.

Speaking a function here, he said that he had spoken to the Frontier Constabulary (FC), following which the border management could decide to close the crossing point for the time being.

However, there were no reports of closing the border crossing in Balochistan till filing of this report on Thursday evening.

The minister’s remarks came a few days after Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa reaffirmed that Pakistan’s borders were secure, despite the challenges the country faces and that the armed forces were prepared to meet any situation. While Rashid, in his statement today, indicated of a security threat at the Chaman border, he insisted that the situation at the Torkham border was normal.

He said the Pakistan Army was deployed at the border and that the forces were keeping a check on movement along the divide.

He was of the view that crisis and bloodshed in Afghanistan was under control, adding that “we want complete peace there.”

The minister said he had asked the Islamabad police chief to beef up its Eagle Squad. “This region is going to be very important,” he said, adding, “Islamabad is our capital and the whole world have their eyes on it.”

He also highlighted the government’s plan to revamp police stations at the outskirts of the federal capital in the wake of increasing crimes in the city.

Responding to a question, the minister said the clamour for a national government was “like building castles in the air”. But he did say that the government is ready for a national reconciliation.

He commented on the opposition’s planned long march towards the capital, saying the time is not feasible for such an activity due to the evolving regional situation.

“But if they [the opposition] are still ready with their plan, the law enforcement agencies will perform their duties under the law to deal with any law and order situation,” he added.

The minister denied the presence of any American nationals in Pakistan, saying “those who had arrived [from Afghanistan] have returned via the port.

“We allowed 600 Japanese yesterday and also permitted the U-19 team of India, and if anyone else asks so, we will grant them a 21-day transit visa,” he added.

In response to another question, he said that Indian media wanted to lay the blame of the situation in Afghanistan on the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), adding that the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) were in a state of despair after all their plans foiled. He further said that all Pakistanis are proud of their national institutions in view of their services for the country.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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