Rashid visits Torkham, gets briefing on border security, trade facilities

Rashid visits Torkham, gets briefing on border security, trade facilities

TORKHAM: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed being briefed about a border terminal by officials of the National Logistics Cell on Friday.—APP

KHYBER/PESHAWAR: Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed paid his first visit to the Torkham border on Friday after assuming his new responsibilities.

Upon arrival at the border, he was received by Khyber Rifles commandant Col Rizwan Nazir and security and district administration officials.

The minister was briefed on border security and bilateral trade with Afghanistan. He was told that the government was trying to provide state-of-the-art facilities at the Torkham border for the local traders and transporters and increase the volume trade with Afghanistan, with special focus on promoting and patronising export of Pakistani goods.

The interior minister said the Torkham border was backbone of the national economy as Pakistan could reach the Central Asian states through this border. He said that as per the prime minister’s vision of modernising all borders with Afghanistan, modern machines would be installed at the National Logistic Cell terminal to facilitate speedy clearance of goods and provide relief to the transporters.

The minister was told that clearance of goods for Afghanistan would be expedited with initiation of primary inspection of goods and activation of passenger terminal, along with export and import terminals.

Strict security measures were adopted during the interior minister’s visit to the Torkham border. He also visited the historic Khyber Rifles Mess in Landi Kotal before leaving for Peshawar.

Interior minister warns of action against NGOs involved in politics

Talking to reporters in Peshawar, Sheikh Rashid said he would use his powers as interior minister not to renew former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s passport after its expiry on Feb 16. He said the government was trying to bring back the former premier, but due to the absence of an extradition treaty with the United Kingdom he could not say when the PML-N supreme leader would return to the country.

He said Pakistan started issuing online visas for 191 countries from Friday, including Afghanistan and China. He said that on the first day about 200,000 visa applications were received, which was a record in itself. He said the government had stopped issuing manual visas which would also reduce corruption in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision.

The minister said that currently there were 528 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the country with billions of rupees of budget. He said the government had no issue with the NGOs doing their jobs, but would devise procedure for NOCs of those involved in politics. “We would take notice if NGOs are involved in politics,” he warned.

He said the government had taken notice of demolition of a Hindu shrine in Karak district. He said he had taken up the issue with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and asked him to take action.

Sheikh Rashid said the federal government had forwarded the case against JUI-F leader Mufti Kifayatullah to the KP government, adding that no one would be allowed to utter anything against the armed forces.

He said the government had also taken notice of activities of ‘armed wings’ of political parties and they would not be allowed to operate.

About the Pakistan Democratic Movement’s long march, the interior minister said the government would deal with the opposition in the same manner it behaved.

Website: https://www.goodstransporters.com

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