Israel, India behind terrorism in Pakistan, says Sheikh Rashid

Published August 10, 2021
INTERIOR Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed addressing a press conference on Monday.—Online
INTERIOR Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed addressing a press conference on Monday.—Online

ISLAMABAD: Israel, India and Afghanistan were responsible for rising incidents of terrorism in the country, Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference, he called for thwarting the conspiracies being hatched by Israel, India and Afghanistan’s intelligence agency against “our security”.

He said he had called off a rally and fireworks outside Lal Haveli schedule for Aug 13 in view of intelligence reports.

The interior minister said the nation was united on issues like Kashmir and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, adding that it would not tolerate “obstacles in the way of CPEC”.

“I had a meeting with the Chinese ambassador last week and also spoke to the security minister about the Dasu blast. The law enforcement agencies have completed their investigation into the tragedy. The foreign minister will disclose the details,” Sheikh Rashid said.

Warns against obstacles in the way of CPEC

He chided the opposition for threatening to resist the arrest of Shehbaz Sharif, saying that “nothing unusual happened when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged”.

“Since Shehbaz Sharif is not a greater leader than Bhutto, his arrest will not lead to anarchy.”

Sheikh Rashid warned terrorists and criminals that the law would take its course if they “dare defy it”.

He advised former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to return home as “you now have only two options left” _ file an appeal against the British government’s refusal to grant extension in his stay or to apply for asylum.

“A real leader is one who lives and dies for his nation.” The minister said heavens do not fall if a leader goes to jail, recalling that he had been sentenced to seven years imprisonment in a “fake Kalashnikov case”.

About security arrangements for Muharram, Sheikh Rashid said all provinces had been asked to seek the help of civil armed forces. “I will be visiting the four provinces to review measures for law and order.”

He requested mourners and the ulema to follow the standard operating procedures (SOPs) worked out by the National Command and Operation Centre during Muharram.

Vaccination certificate

Sheikh Rashid said NADRA would start issuing vaccination certificates within a week to meet the stipulations laid down by Arab countries.

The minister assured of action against those who reduced the width of a nullah in Islamabad’s Sector E-11 from 40 feet to 18, forcing it to overflow during the recent rains and cause flooding.

In reply to a question about the investigation into the alleged abduction of the Afghan ambassador’s daughter last month, he said an inquiry team deputed by Kabul had returned home after completing its work.

“Now our foreign minister will speak about the findings at an appropriate time.”

He said Islamabad had asked Kabul to allow Pakistan’s police to speak to the woman and to give access to her phone for forensic analysis.

Sheikh Rashid said the cabinet had allowed the interior ministry to issue arms licences, but some rules and procedures needed to be worked out before implementing the decision.

“We will not follow in the footsteps of previous governments by issuing 100,000 arms licences in a single tenure.”

In reply to a question about street crimes in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, he dismissed an observation that the lawlessness followed his decision to disband checkposts. The chairman of the Capital Development Authority had been asked to ensure funds for installation of 190 security cameras.

Rescue1122 Service will be introduced in the capital soon with a fleet of 20 vehicles, the minister added.

Published in Dawn, August 10th, 2021

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