ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has rejected the long-term presence of US troops in Pakistan coming from Afghanistan and said that the foreigners who will stay in the country have been issued 21 to 30-day transit visas.
According to the details, he rejected the claim that Pakistan is going back to the time of former President General Pervez Musharraf.
Speaking to the media, the Home Minister expressed frustration over the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam chief’s claim that the government was booking hotels for Americans in the federal capital.
Answering a question, Sheikh Rashid said that 2,192 people have entered Pakistan from the Torkham border, while 1,627 have reached Islamabad by air.
He added that fewer people had come from the Chaman border.
Sheikh Rashid Ahmed clarified that many people travel between Pakistan and Afghanistan through the Chaman border on a daily basis, many Afghans entered Pakistan from this border and returned to their country, this is a normal activity.
He said that issuing visas to Afghans is not an exercise in making money, no goal has been set to raise funds through this activity.
He pointed out that normal visa fees are being charged from these people, while visas are being issued free of cost on arrival.
What is the status of people entering Pakistan from the Torkham and Chaman borders?
Responding to a question on the issue, the Home Minister said that none of them was given refugee status.
Speaking at a press conference, the interior minister, referring to Thursday’s suicide attack outside Kabul airport, said: “We feared a large influx of migrants, but it did not happen.
Sheikh Rashid said Pakistan was a “responsible country” and would meet its obligations of national security and international expectations.
He said that Pakistan has played a historic role in the Afghan peace process and no other country has made more sacrifices for peace in Afghanistan than Pakistan.
March towards Islamabad
Responding to the March announcement of the anti-government political alliance Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM) towards Islamabad, he said they would be treated in accordance with the law and the constitution.
However, he expressed confidence that there was no threat to Prime Minister Imran Khan and said that the opposition would fail in its attempt to overthrow the government when the country faced huge challenges due to the rapidly changing regional scenario.
He advised the opposition to prepare for the next elections and said that corruption cases were also expected to reach their logical conclusion before the next elections in the country.
He said that religious parties of the country should play their role in promoting a positive image of Pakistan.