Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed talking to media at the Nadra centre.—INP
Federal Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed talking to media at the Nadra centre.—INP

LAHORE: Pakistan will adopt its own course of action once the world takes a decision on Afghanistan.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan has said Pakistan will take its own decision when the world takes a stand on Afghanistan,” Interior Min­i­ster Sheikh Rashid Ahmed told a presser on Thursday.

Mr Rashid asserted that Pakistan will continue supporting Kabul through hum­an­itarian efforts regardless of what the world says.

Prime Minister Khan had recently said there would be far-reaching consequences in terms of the refugee problem that will impact Pakis­tan and Iran more as they had absorbed more people who crossed over. He had also stressed that the US had a major role to play, as it had been in Afghanistan for 20 years. The only reason the US invaded Afghanistan was terrorism, Mr Khan said, wondering what would be Washington’s achi­e­vement if the Afghan soil again became a terrorist haven. “We should not let Afghanistan drift towards another crisis,” the premier had emphasised.

The interior minister maintained that stability in the neighbouring country would ensure a stable Pakistan, and any volatility in Afghanistan could create problems for Pakistan. “Pakistan knows well that the world is not only looking towards Kabul, but Islamabad too,” he stressed.

Says Maryam reverses all efforts made by Shehbaz

Answering a question, Mr Rashid said Pakistan did not want the Afghan land to be used against Pakistan, and vice versa. However, he remarked, those involved in terrorism in Pakistan would face a different treatment from the country.

The minister further commented that PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz was making harsh statements against Pakistan Army that had sacrificed 86,000 lives and faced injuries to over 100,000 of its men, adding that the force reached out to help the common people in every calamity. “The army stands by democracy,” he exclaimed.

Mr Rashid claimed that Ms Nawaz was creating problems for herself and would have to be answerable sooner or later. He said Maryam Nawaz was the only reason behind the PML-N’s debacle.

“Maryam nullifies all efforts made by Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif,” he added.

Answering a question, Mr Rashid said PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif had missed his chance and now any stance regarding confrontation or reconciliation carried no weight.

Responding to another question, he said transfers and postings of army generals were a routine matter and it was irresponsible to criticise the armed forces.

Referring to the fake vaccination entries of PML-N leaders, including late Kulsoom Nawaz, the interior minister called it a conspiracy to defame Pakistan internationally. He said such a malicious campaign was being run against Pakistan when it had “safely” tackled the Covid-19 pandemic without enforcing across-the-board lockdowns and restrictions.

He claimed that India’s role had been confirmed in the return of the New Zealand cricket team to their country.

He said the prime minister had announced action against all those whose offshore companies and assets were found undeclared.

Published in Dawn, October 8th, 2021

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