Progress linked to stability in Afghanistan: Rashid

RAWALPINDI: Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Friday said that 40 per cent work on fencing along the Pakistan-Iran border had been completed.

Addressing a public meeting outside his secretariat, Lal Haveli, in connection with Azad Jammu and Kashmir elections, the minister said that peace and progress in Pakistan were linked with stability in Afghanistan.

He said that 88pc work on fencing along the border with Afghanistan had been completed and Pakistan wanted to give a message to the Afghan foreign minister that it wanted peace in the region.

He said Pakistan would not allow using its land against any country and Prime Minister Imran Khan had already announced that he would not give its airbases to the United States. “Imran Khan wanted to make the country stronger and bring it out of all crises,” he said.

Says FATF retained Pakistan on grey list because it’s a nuclear state

“Despite implementing all recommendations of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), except one, it has decided to keep Pakistan on its grey list because Pakistan is a nuclear state,” he added.

Sheikh Rashid said Prime Minister Imran Khan gave him an important ministry and he would work as per his expectations. “I am the spokesman for the poor and the prime minister listens to my views. I inform the cabinet about the price hike and problems of the common man,” he said.

Criticising the opposition, the minister said that it would not defeat Imran Khan and he would win the next elections in the country and the upcoming elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Sheikh Rashid said he was never involved in Azad Kashmir’s politics, but now he would participate in Azad Jammu and Kashmir politics. “Imran Khan will visit Azad Kashmir and I will accompany him,” he said.

He said he arranged a public meeting to get votes for a candidate in Azad Kashmir election, Javed Butt. He said that many Kashmiris had been living in Rawalpindi for the last 70 years on rented buildings and no one gave them ownership rights, adding that the current government would work for them.

He said he was the only politician in the country who had worked in 15 ministries and not a single case of corruption was made against him. He said he worked for the poor in the city.

The minister said he would retire from politics after completion of Leh Nullah Expressway and Flood Channel project as it was his ambition to complete the project while providing relief to the people living around the nullah.

He said Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had been requested to inaugurate the Leh Nullah project as soon as possible. He said he would do his best to complete the project in this tenure of the PTI government.

Published in Dawn, July 3rd, 2021

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