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Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal speaks to mediapersons at Frontier Constabulary Headquarters, Peshawar, on Thursday. — White Star
Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal speaks to mediapersons at Frontier Constabulary Headquarters, Peshawar, on Thursday. — White Star

PESHAWAR: Interior minister Ahsan Iqbal on Thursday said the federal government was considering a proposal to upgrade the Frontier Constabulary (FC) to Pakistan Constabulary to bring the force and incentives for its personnel on a par with those of other civilian law-enforcement agencies.

Talking to reporters during a visit to the FC headquarters, the minister said legislation would be made to that effect.

He said the government has decided to raise new wings of the FC.

“The government is providing funds for new FC companies and has increased border management,” he said.

The minister said work on the Pak-Afghan border fencing was underway as those involved in most terrorism cases used the western border to enter the country.

He said many terrorists were nabbed in light of intelligence reports but those who managed to sneak into the country carried out suicide attacks against the law-enforcement agencies.

Mr Iqbal said the improved border management would lead the country to the peace.

He said Pakistan had distanced itself from negative labels and was being called an emerging economy.

The minister said the country had achieved the highest growth rate in the history and had received Chinese investment worth billions of dollars.

He said political stability, continuation of policies and peace were prerequisite for development.

“We have started quarterly meeting of the heads of civil armed forces,” he said adding that the government would learn about the forces’ needs from the meeting for necessary action.

The minister said the government would provide all their requirements, including modern weaponry and infrastructure.

About the allegations of horse-trading in the recent Senate polls, he said it was a question to ponder why lawmakers sold votes.

Mr Iqbal took a potshot at Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chief Imran Khan saying the horse-trading market had been opened in his ‘New Pakistan’.

“Imran Khan regularly lectures us on ethics and what good it would have been if he had delivered these lectures to his own lawmakers,” he said.

The minister said the PML-N condemned horse-trading and would support legislation against it. He said Pakistan supported peace and stability in Afghanistan but the military action alone would not bring peace to the country.

Mr Iqbal said India did not want peace in Afghanistan so the Pakistani Army had been engaged on the country’s western border.

He praised the FC’s sacrifices in the war against terrorism.

Earlier in the day, the minister participated in 600 FC personnel’s passing out ceremony.

Published in Dawn, March 9th, 2018