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Camps to be built along the Afghan border to help keep refugees far from the mainland: Fawad

The information minister says Pakistan is doing its best to make sure matters in Afghanistan are resolved peacefully.

Chaudhry said govt returned $7.52b, including $6.31b in principal loans and $1.21b in interest payments. SCREENGRAB

ISLAMABAD:

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

“This would be a great challenge for Pakistan. We’re trying our best that matters in Afghanistan are resolved peacefully. But, if the problem 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 after the cabinet’s meeting.

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

“Of course, the strategy to approach them will be different [to those associated with terrorism], but soon you will discover 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 reported 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 capability to exercise their vote right in elections,” the minister added.

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

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

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

“There were lots of complaints regarding the services. Therefore, the PM directed Arbab Shehzad, Shafqat Mehmood, law minster [Farogh Naseem] to check out the testing services,” he said.

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

“As you will 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 must certainly be preserved and not infringed upon,” he added.

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

“Wherever 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 studied where necessary.

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The minister further stated 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 folks from their right,” because of the situation in Afghanistan, the minister added.

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

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