Fazl among those facing security threat: Bugti

Shakeel Anjum
Saturday, Dec 09, 2023

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti Friday said JUIF chief Fazlur Rehman faced a security threat at a time when a general security threat persisted against the country’s entire political leadership.

Addressing a news conference here, the minister said the government will spare no effort to ensure a peaceful atmosphere during the general elections and electioneering countrywide.

He made it clear that the Afghans living legally in Pakistan or having the refugee status could not participate in political activities, as it was a prerogative of Pakistani citizens.

Bugti said paramilitary forces could also be deployed to assist the civil administration if requested by the Election Commission.

Responding to a question, Bugti said the repatriation plan was not country-specific. He said only illegal foreigners, including Afghans, were being deported adding that anybody with a valid passport and visa was welcome in Pakistan.

He warned that the foreigners staying in Pakistan will face deportations if found involved in political activities.

“The people involved in political activities are being deported whether they are Afghan refugees or citizens of any other country. This prohibition applies to all the foreigners regardless of their entry documents,” Bugti maintained.

Responding to a question about the issuance of fake passports, the minister said the government was looking into more such cases and that those responsible for fake identity cards and passports would be held accountable.

The security authorities have pointed out that the Afghan Interior Minister Sirajuddin Haqqani and thousands of others hold fake Pakistani passports.

A person, who is privy to the ongoing cleansing of the record, told this reporter that around 30,000-40,000 passports issued to the Afghan nationals had been blocked.

On the issue of cross-border terrorism, the minister said the government was in contact with the Afghan authorities and disclosed that the terrorist responsible for the August suicide bombing in Bannu, which martyred nine soldiers, was an Afghan citizen who entered Pakistan on Tazkira (Afghan identity card).

“The government is well aware of the prevailing situation through the intelligence-based information and is taking steps to ensure a peaceful atmosphere before and during the general elections”, Bugti concluded.