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QUETTA: Interior Minister Shehryar Afridi has said that security and necessary facilities would be ensured for pilgrims going to and returning from Iran.

He gave the assurance during a visit to Taftan on Friday at the instruction of Prime Minister Imran Khan who had taken notice of reports about problems Pakistanis faced during pilgrimage.

Balochistan Home Minister Mir Saleem Ahmed Khosa, Information Minister Zahoor Ahmed Buledi, Chief Secretary Dr Nazeer Ahmed, Home Secretary Haider Ali Shekoh, officers of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and security were also present.

Mr Afridi met the pilgrims proceeding to Iran and those returning to Quetta at the Pakistan House. Pilgrims apprised the minister of the problems they faced while travelling to both sides of the border.

They said that on return to Quetta, pilgrims had to wait for days at Taftan because of security arrangements. Besides, Pakistan House also lacked facilities, they said.

However, security authorities while briefing the interior minister said that the provincial government was making all out efforts to provide security to pilgrims with the help of Frontier Troops and Anti-Terrorist Force.

Shehryar Afridi promised of providing foolproof security and necessary facilities to pilgrims and also pledged to set up more immigration desks at Taftan for hassle-free travelling.

Published in Dawn, September 8th, 2018