Afridi warns Balochistan authorities against security lapses


ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi has said that all stakeholders and relevant authorities would observe a ‘zero tolerance’ policy when it comes to maintaining law and order situation in the country.

The minister passed these directions during his meetings with various high-ranking officials including Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Quetta Corps Commander Lt General Asim Bajwa and others.

The minister also said that sustained efforts would be made to ensure peace and harmony across the country.

Afridi, who had arrived in Quetta on Friday, was accompanied by officers from ministries of interior, foreign affairs, religious affairs and Federal Investigation Authority (FIA). The minister also held a one-on-one exchange with Commander Southern Command Lt General Bajwa, who briefed him about the law and order situation of Balochistan.

Later, the state minister left for Taftan Border Post for inspection. Balochistan ministers for home and information, Balochistan chief secretary and local management also accompanied him.

After a thorough inspection and interaction with the pilgrims stuck at Pakistan House, the minister came down hard over the management of the facility for glaring omissions and ordered immediate correction.

Afridi directed that the facilities of clean drinking water, lavatories and sanitation facility at Pakistan House for pilgrims must be ensured immediately. The minister also directed to ensure the provision of male/female doctors and essential medicines for the pilgrims.

The interior minister also directed officials to put in place dedicated FIA officials for immigration of the elderly and women. He ordered the FIA to increase immigration counters from 13 to 20, and shift to newly constructed customs building at Taftan.

He also directed the deployment of FIA and customs officials on a rotation basis so that the officials posted at Taftan Post since long could return to their homes.

Shehryar Afridi later retreated to Quetta and held a meeting with leaders of Hazara community at Hazara Imambargah, Alamdar Road and identified the issues concerning them the most. He also offered Fateha for the martyrs.

The state minister for interior assured the community that their grievances pertaining to NADRA Passport Office, facilitation of pilgrims in Muharram and non-payment of compensation to over 265 families of martyrs will be fixed within the shortest possible time. He told the meeting that all stakeholders were on board to ensure peace and stability in the country.

He also assured allocation of a Technical Training Institute for Hazara Town and action against miscreants in Quetta that will require a sustained follow-up.

The Hazara community felt reassured and said that the minister’s visit and reassurance to their demands was a healing touch for the victims of terrorism.

They also asked the minister to convey their sincere wishes for the PTI-led government, which is reacting to public issues like a concerned parent.

The minister also held a meeting with the Ulema from various sects in Quetta to hammer out policy guidelines so that the holy month of Moharram can be observed peacefully.


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