Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said that the authorities may close the Chaman border with crossing “for some time today” in view of reported threats from Afghanistan.

Addressing a gathering in Islamabad on Thursday, he said that he had spoken to the Frontier Constabulary, following which the border management could decide to close the crossing.

Rashid’s remarks come a few days after Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had said that Pakistan’s borders were secure despite the challenges the country faces and that the armed forces are “prepared to meet any situation”.

However, he insisted that the situation at the Torkham border was “normal”.

The minister said the Pakistan Army was deployed at the border and that the forces were keeping a check on movement along the divide.

Rashid said that crisis and bloodshed in Afghanistan was under control, adding that “we want complete peace.”

The minister said he had asked the Islamabad police chief to beef up its Eagle Squad.

“This region is going to be very important,” Rashid said. “Islamabad is our capital and the whole world have their eyes on it.”

He also highlighted the government’s plan to revamp police stations at the outskirts of Islamabad.

Replying to a question, the interior minister said the clamour for a national government was a “dream”. He did, however, say that the government was ready for a “national reconciliation”.

About the PDM’s planned long march towards the capital, Rashid said the “time is not feasible” for such an activity due to the evolving regional situation.

“But if they are adamant, then the law enforcement agencies will perform their duties under the law to deal with any law and order situation.”

The minister denied the presence of any American nationals in Pakistan, saying “those who had arrived have returned via the port. We allowed 600 Japanese yesterday and also permitted the U-19 team of India, and if anyone else asks so, we will grant them a 21-day transit visa.”

To another question, Rashid said the Indian media wanted to lay blame of the situation in Afghanistan on the ISI (Inter-Services Intelligence), adding that the Indian intelligence agency Research & Analysis Wing (RAW) and Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) were in a state of despair after all their plans “foiled”.

He said that “all Pakistanis are proud of their national institutions in view of their services for the country.”

The story was filed by the News Desk.
The Desk can be reached at info@thecorrespondent.com.pk.

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