Minister for Interior Rehman Malik on Sunday claimed that 5,000 youths were being trained in Afghanistan while Brahamdagh Bugti was present in Kabul but Afghan President Hamid Karzai had closed down the training camps on the request of the Pakistani government.
Talking to media persons here at the National Press Club, the minister said the government was closely monitoring the anti-state activities of Baloch leaders living abroad, adding that relevant information about cases framed on political bases was being gathered, and estranged Baloch leaders would be encouraged to return.
Malik justified the government’s attempt to woo estranged Baloch leaders, saying they wanted to create a positive atmosphere. However, he made it clear that only leaders who showed honour and respect for the national flag would be welcomed. “If these people want their rights as Pakistani nationals, they will definitely get them,” he said, blaming Brahamdagh Bugti for the deteriorating situation in Balochistan. “Brahamdagh’s departure from Kabul has resulted in stability and reduction in sabotage activities in Balochistan,” Malik added. Malik said the government had revoked 130 cases with the initiation of the Aghaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan package.
In response to a question, the minister said he would welcome Brahamdagh Bugti when he returned to Pakistan, inviting Baloch leaders settled abroad to resolve the Balochistan issue through dialogue and assuring them that they would not be arrested on return.
Responding to a question, the minister confirmed reports that the government had formally sent a request to Interpol for former military ruler Pervez Musharraf’s arrest.
To another query, he maintained that no US citizen was present in Pakistan illegally and nobody would be allowed to enter the country without a valid visa. The minister said no extension in visas was being granted to US citizens; similarly, he said, no diplomat was allowed to carry weapons in Pakistan.
Malik also assured media persons that a detailed briefing over missing persons would be held and said the victim’s families who had sought financial help were being compensated. “Only 48 people are missing in Balochistan,” he said.
Lauding the role of the media, Malik said elected members of the press club would be issued blue passports for a short period and would be facilitated with the issuance of arms licences. He requested the media to first confirm reports about Balochistan by contacting the provincial government or Ministry of Interior before filing stories. About resolving the wage board issue, he said that the government would set up a committee to hold meetings with owners of print and electronic media.
APP adds: Rehman Malik said the PPP had now become the leading party in the Senate and despite propaganda against the government in the media, it was succeeding and surviving. The minister announced donating Rs300,000 to the National Press Club from his own pocket.