Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – A day after the government announced that the controversial Dawn Leaks issue was settled, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said on Thursday the matter had been blown out of proportion.

“The way the initial Prime Minister’s House statement was propagated created a misunderstanding,” Nisar said while addressing a news conference in Islamabad. “If the government had intended to bury the issue, it wouldn’t have constituted two committees comprising credible and senior people.”

Taking a veiled jibe at Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the interior minister said, “If someone wants to play cricket or hockey over the issue, they should find some other forum.” He also warned against making a mockery out of civil-military ties, terming it a sensitive issue.

The minister said there should be no political point-scoring over the issue, claiming nowhere in the world politics is playing on such a sensitive issue except for Pakistan. “The context of the civil-military ties is not political but national.”

The condition of NOC for visit to Gilgit-Baltistan by tourists has been withdrawn, said Ch Nisar.

He, however, said diplomats, International NGOs, research workers and project related foreigners working in Gilgit-Baltistan would require security clearance before visiting the region.

The Minister, while giving saliant features of decisions taken during high level meetings at the Ministry for two days, said in all 353,000 Computerized National Identity Cards (NICs) were blocked. Of them, 174,000 cards of confirmed aliens are being cancelled but they will have the right to appeal.

These also include 3500 of those who voluntarily surrendered their Pakistani citizenship. He said of the cancelled identity cards, ten thousand were those who had registered themselves as Afghans.

The Interior Minister said 156,440 identity cards have temporarily been unblocked.
They would be permanently unblocked if the holders provide solid proof to NADRA.

Nisar Ali Khan announced that in future no national identity card would be blocked on suspicion or lack of documentation.

He said holders of such cards would be served notices and afforded an opportunity to disprove contention of NADRA.

The Interior Minister said the crime of illegal human organ transplant has been included in FIA schedule and the agency would proactively work against the menace during the next few weeks.

He said the government is also being asked to include the crime of food adulteration in the schedule of FIA. In the first stage, imported food would be checked at importer and distributor level by FIA to ensure these items are not expired or injurious to health.

In the second stage, ordinary food items would also be brought into the domain of the FIA. The Minister said a seminar, to be attended by all stakeholders, would be organized to draw up recommendations to deal with the problem of radiation by communication towers in populated areas.

The Minister for Interior said Khanani and Kalia Company transferred one hundred billion rupees abroad in just three years from 2005 to 2008.

He said FIA has unearthed 1.4 million transactions carried out during this period.
He said as a result of efforts of FIA, about 2.5 billion rupees of petroleum levy has been recovered from petroleum companies.

He said preparations are underway for issuance of red warrants for Altaf Hussain through Interpol before the 15th of next month. He said there is a strong legal aspect of the case.