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‘Taliban have assured TTP won’t be allowed to use Afghan soil’

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Minister for Interior Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said on Monday that the Afghan Taliban had assured Pakistan that the Tehreek Taliban Pakistan (TTP) won’t be allowed to use the Afghan soil to carry out terrorist activities against Pakistan.

Addressing a presser in Islamabad this afternoon, the interior minister noted that some TTP members, namely Maulvi Faqir Mohammad, had been released by the Taliban after the Kabul takeover. He said the government was in contact with the Taliban on the issue.

“We wish peace, stability and security for Afghanistan as Pakistan’s peace is linked with it,” he said.

“The whole world including Pakistan wants to see peace in Afghanistan,” the minister added.

The minister further said that Pakistan has been providing assistance to those evacuating Afghanistan, including US nationals.

“This is an opportunity for Pakistan to win hearts and we share the world’s aspirations of peace in Afghanistan.”

Read more CPEC SEZs open for third countries as well

However, Rashid added that it wasn’t Pakistan’s responsibility to evacuate people beyond the Torkham border.

He said that the interior ministry is looking after the border management along Afghanistan. “We are also providing quarantine for any Covid-19 patients arriving there.”

While responding to a question, Rashid said, “We haven’t made a decision yet regarding the refugees.”

To another question, the minister responded that, “The opposition parties haven’t achieved any results despite organising public gatherings for the past three years.”

CPEC security

Speaking of the recent attacks on Chinese officials, Rashid further said that international conspiracies were being hatched against the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), saying some elements don’t want to see Pakistan progress.

“CPEC is the economic lifeline of Pakistan,”

The minister stated that “international conspiracies” were being hatched against CPEC, adding that some elements did not want Pakistan to progress with this project.

According to Rashid, the situation in Afghanistan had also given further significance to the project.

“It is the commitment of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s government to take the project forth in terms of progress,” Rashid added.

“The Pakistani nation is proud of its friendship with China,” he remarked.

The minister said that 40 Chinese companies operating on the project were being provided protection by the Pakistan Army.

Read Strategy being crafted for protection of Chinese

He added that the recent incidents of terrorism were evidence that some elements wanted to threaten the lives of Chinese citizens and come in the way of Pakistan’s ties with the country.

“I have assured China’s ambassador of all-out security to Chinese citizens, and Pakistani institutions are working for the cause,” he said.

While responding to a question, Rashid said that some of the accused involved in launching attacks on the Chinese citizens had been apprehended.

Islamabad security measures

The minister announced that the government had decided to buy “six latest drones and install 152 cameras.”

“We will also soon announce to initiate a setup along the lines of Punjab’s [Rescue] 1122 in Islamabad.”

Rashid lamented that there was no “crisis management section in Islamabad for the past 74 years.”

“The interior ministry will be launching a helpline website in a day or two, that will bring the IT ministry and other ministries together.”


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