Federal Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that dialogue with the Taliban is government’s top priority, but groups opposed to talks would be dealt with sternly.
Talking to media persons‚ the Minister said that negotiations were under way with different Taliban groups. He said a dialogue with Taliban continued to be the first priority of the government even today. He said that talks with the Taliban were in a “sensitive” stage.
The Minister said that they were facing immense criticism for initiating dialogue with Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP). He said that negotiations were under way with different groups, saying that he was hopeful of some positive outcome.
He said talks with the Taliban and or action against them were difficult options. He said the present leadership of Taliban was against the dialogue process. “Foreign forces are resorting to drone attacks to sabotage talks with the Taliban,” he claimed.
He said the decision to hold talks with Taliban was taken by the political leadership of the country during an All-Parties Conference (APC).
To a question‚ he made it clear that the process of dialogue was very complicated and demanded extreme caution and carefulness. He said some religious personalities, including Maulana Samiul Haq, were playing their role but the process of dialogue would be managed by the government.
Nisar said that the next Nadra Chairman would be appointed through an open competition, till then, an Acting Chairman would be appointed by the Nadra Board, which is going to meet on January 15.
The committee already formed for verification of thumb impression of voters would continue to interact with Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) independently, he said adding that the committee would not require any interaction with the Interior Ministry. “It will be totally independent of the administrative control of the Ministry,” he maintained.
He said that an audit of Nadra would be carried out soon and the authority, which was reluctant for audit in the past‚ will fully cooperate with the Auditor General of Pakistan in this regard. The previous government recruited 8,000 people in Nadra, he said adding that their performance audit would also be carried out.
To another question, he said that the wife of former President General Pervez Musharraf (retd) had filed an application with Interior Ministry for the removal of her husband from Exit Control List (ECL), but the Ministry rejected the application.
He said that Musharraf’s suffered some health problems in the vehicle transporting him to the special court and he was shifted to Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology (AFIC). He said that he was promptly given first-hand information about the change of Musharraf’s vehicle direction, which was heading towards AFIC.
About the attack on SP Chaudhry Aslam in Karachi, he said the attackers, who took the life of Aslam, were living in Karachi for the last many years. “I don’t want to publicise the cowardly attack on Chaudhry Aslam,” he added.
To another question, Interior Minister said the ministry would start issuing new arms license after complete verification of the licenses issued by the previous government. He said lakhs of arms licenses were issued and thousands of them were unverified.
He said the draft of National Security Policy was ready and would be presented soon in the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on National Security.
Source: Business Recorder