Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Minister for Interior, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Monday said the army would be deployed for security and to ensure free and fair elections in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.


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“Transparency and fairness of elections in AJK is extremely important in view of sham elections across Line of Control (LoC) and we are trying to ensure fair elections upon which no one can raise finger,” he told newsmen after inaugurating NADRA Mega Centre in Islamabad.

Despite other commitments, the Pakistan Army has committed to provide troops for the purpose while Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have also been asked to contribute forces, he said and added that in all 22,000 personnel would be deputed for elections in Azad Kashmir by the 18th or 19th of this month.

Replying to a question, the Minister said Rangers in Karachi had been mandated to tackle terrorism, extortion, kidnapping for ransom and target killings and there had been a significant reduction in these crimes under their presence.

Chaudhry Nisar said there had been great progress in two recent high-profile cases involving Amjad Sabri’s killing and the kidnapping of a son of the Chief Justice of Sindh.

Nisar said Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto were the only leaders of political parties who had not yet declared their assets, adding that Zardari had remained in power for five years without declaring his assets.

The Minister said Bilawal should also explain where he had gotten the money to buy three palaces in Dubai and other properties in different countries.

Replying to a question, he said NADRA would formally start sending SMS’ to family heads after Eid holidays to confirm their family trees, adding that NADRA had received 200,000 SMS from citizens and 5,000 citizens have pointed out mistakes in NADRA records against their name. Of the total, 950 have been confirmed fake or aliens, he added.

He said under the CNIC re-verification drive, the government has announced that any foreigner/refugee who voluntarily returned their illegally obtained CNICs within two months would be awarded refugee status and in case the fake card holder was traced during drive he/she would be deported or sent to jail.

Regarding Afghan refugees, he said this is a quite serious matter and soon a national policy would be conceived to regulate their stay in Pakistan.

Successive governments had borne the burden of hundreds of thousands of refugees in Pakistan but now the time had come to prepare a comprehensive national policy on the matter, he added.

Nisar said a meeting had been planned on return of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif which would decide whether and how Afghan refugees would stay in Pakistan.