Camps to be built along Afghan border to keep refugees away from mainland: Fawad


ISLAMABAD:

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhary said on Tuesday that Pakistan was expecting an influx of Afghan refugees amid the current situation in the country. However, he added that efforts will be made to build camps at borders to keep them from entering.

“This would be a great challenge for Pakistan. We are trying our best that matters in Afghanistan are resolved peacefully. But, if the situation deteriorates in Afghanistan then Pakistan would have to bear the burden and we [the government] are working on it,” the minister said while addressing a press conference following the cabinet’s meeting.

Talking about Balochistan, the minister said that the federal government had started working on a plan to initiate negotiations with the aggrieved people not “linked with India” or “involved in terrorism”.

“Of course the method to approach them would be different [to those involved in terrorism], but soon you will see that Balocshina would become the hub of peace,” he said.

The information minister added that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s trip to Gwadar, on June 5, was proof that the federal government gave importance to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Further informing of the decisions taken at the cabinet meeting, the minister informed that was Minister of Science and Technology Shibli Faraz told the forum that the electronic voting machine would be prepared by July 15.

“The cabinet was also briefed about the comprehensive electoral reforms as well as regarding giving overseas Pakistani the ability to exercise their vote right in elections,” the minister added.

Read Afghanistan — perils of an irresponsible pullout

He further said that PM Imran had directed the Civil Aviation Authority to make the Gilgit and Skardu airports ‘all weather friendly’ to further promote the tourism industry.

“The prime minister also directed the CAA to improve the boarding and de-boarding of the elderly,” the minister said.

The information minister further added that the PM had directed to bring about reforms in the testing services related to government jobs.

“There were a lot of complaints regarding the services therefore, the PM directed Arbab Shehzad, Shafqat Mehmood, law minster [Farogh Naseem] to look into the testing services,” he said.

Fawad further said that the premier had directed the Captial Development Authority (CDA) to ensure that encroachments were not done on green areas in Islamabad and demarcations were strictly followed.

“As you can see that that PML-N [Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz] and PPP [Pakistan Peoples Party] had done previously,” the minister said while accusing the opposition.

“They built concrete jungles in the city that contributed to the city’s management collapsing. PM Imran’s vision is that the green areas should be preserved and not encroached upon,” he added.

He further said that the prime minister had directed the concerned ministers and government officials to reduce using unnecessary protocols.

“Whereever excessive protocols are used, the prime minister would take strict action. The prime minister himself said that he doesn’t go outside or attend gatherings because he believes that doing so would cause trouble to the masses,” he said, adding that security measures would be taken where necessary.

The minister further said that PM Imran had also directed the authorities concerned to immediately provide 3G and 4G services in FATA as interest services are fundamental rights of the residents.

“Can’t keep restricting people from their right,” because of the situation in Afghanistan, the minister added.

He further informed that relief of about $3.7 billion was expected in the new rescheduling of debts.

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