Pakistan evacuates all its citizens from Afghanistan: Sh Rashid
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed Friday said that the federal government had successfully evacuated all its citizens from Afghanistan, who wanted to return to the country.
However, he added, there were some Pakistanis who did not want to leave Afghanistan for their personal reasons and, therefore, they were still there.
Addressing a press conference at National Database and Registration Authority in Lahore, he said that the federal government had issued transit visas to 1,500 people, while about 1,480 people were given access to Pakistan’s territories through Torkham border crossing, he added.
Both Torkham and Chaman border crossings were opened for those intending to travel to Pakistan if they had valid documents, he added.
Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said that it had been decided to issue 21 days transit visas to all foreigners including members of non-governmental organisations (NGOs), delegates, journalists and others at the Islamabad airport and Torkham border crossing, adding that the world community had appreciated the Pakistan government efforts to evacuate its citizens besides foreigners from Afghanistan.
An emergency helpline was being set up by the interior ministry to register people's complaints pertaining to any issue and law and order situation, he said and added that the Indian media was resorting to baseless criticism as the Indian intelligence agency, RAW, had attempted to hatch conspiracies against China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which had been foiled. CPEC was of paramount importance for progress and prosperity of Pakistan, he added.
Earlier, the minister congratulated the PTI government over completion of its three years and said that significant reforms were brought during this era to provide relief to people and enhancing institutions’ performance. The interior ministry had launched online visa, renewal and extension system besides issuance of Covid-19 vaccination certificates during this period, he added.
To a question, Sh Rashid said that Afghanistan’s land could not be used against Pakistan, while Pakistan would not allow anyone to conduct any activity against Afghanistan from Pakistan as Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement in that regard was a clear message to the international forces.
To another query, he said Pakistan had become the focal point in the context of prevailing situation in the region so that the opposition, instead of indulging in negative politics, should support the government and wait until the next general elections, if they were not satisfied with the government’s performance.
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan-led PTI government would complete its five-year constitutional term and it would win the next general elections and form the government, he added.
To another question, the minister said that Nawaz Sharif’s passport could be renewed for only 24 hours if he wanted to return to the country, adding that the corrupt leaders plundered the national exchequer and then wanted to spend such looted money in foreign countries. He said that the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) had been exposed before people now. He suggested that Maulana Fazlur Rehman, instead of pursuing his personal agenda, should play a positive role in the country’s progress and prosperity.
To a query, he said that the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) was making arrangements for registration of votes of about 10 million overseas Pakistanis so that they could take part in national politics. He said that during the next two years, the accountability process would be further intensified and more corrupt elements would be sent behind the bars.