QUETTA: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Tuesday ruled out withdrawing the newly implemented “one-document regime”, which requires all Afghan citizens to enter Pakistan with a valid passport and visa, similar to travellers from other countries.

“There’s no question of retracting the one-document system for border crossing,” the premier said at a press conference during his visit to Quetta, stressing that the policy aimed to formalise border movements between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“The people were facing some difficulties due to the regularisation of the border management as they had been crossing the border without any restrictions for a long time,” Mr Kakar said, hoping that people would accept the change soon.

The prime minister spent a busy day in Quetta on Tuesday, inaugurating the launch of the Hazaragi language programme from PTV’s centre in Quetta, launching PM’s Youth Skill Development Programme, meeting different delegations and presiding over a meeting to review the security situation and progress on the ongoing development projects.

Kakar blames corrupt bureaucrats for Balochistan’s ills, forms team to streamline civil service structure

Mr Kakar told the media that the government had taken multiple initiatives to bring about reforms in bureaucracy in order to improve the overall governance structure of Balochistan.

He said the province had some chronic and complex issues which ought to be resolved by deputing a blend of upright and hard-working bureaucrats from civil service as well as from the provincial structure.

“Our issues are linked with the bad governance, which had been badly affecting the province’s performance for the last few decades,” he said.

At the request of the Baloch­istan government, he deputed a bureaucrat, Shakeel Qadir Khan, along with a team, to ensure meritocracy and to streamline the overall structure of bureaucracy.

The premier said there was a nexus of some corrupt bureaucrats and other stakeholders whose actions had adversely affected progress of the province the national economy.

He hoped that the incoming elected government would also remain vigilant in this regard and would continue the process of reforms in future.

Reiterating the government’s resolve to hold free and fair elections across the country, he said the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) would perform its duty to conduct the elections in an appropriate way.

“It is our task that we run the day-to-day affairs of the government... and then conduct the election,” he said.

Asked if he would join any political party after his tenure, Mr Kakar said he had no intention to join any political entity. To another question, he said Balochistan had been exempted from the government’s recent decision to curtail gas supply.

As for the projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the prime minister said the caretaker set-up was not mandated to initiate new projects.

However, he insisted that he was trying his best to allocate funds for the Quetta-Khuzdar dual carriageway section. He hoped to get the finances for the project by the next month.

PM Kakar also informed the media that the Pinjra Pull would be operational by the end of February or early March next year.

PTV’s Hazaragi transmission launched

PM Kakar also inaugurated the launch of the Hazaragi language programme on Tuesday, to be transmitted on PTV Bolan.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, he said that Pakistan as a federation derived its strength from the diversity of its cultures, traditions and languages, with every ethnicity having a unique binding factor.

He lauded the Hazara community of Balochistan, terming their contribution as significant for the development of Quetta and the province.

The prime minister congratulated the community on the launch of PTV’s programming in their regional language and termed it as a tribute to all the martyrs of the Hazara community who sacrificed their lives for the homeland.

Published in Dawn, December 20th, 2023

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