Interior minister claims there are no refugee camps along the Pak-Afghan border
Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed on Monday alleged that a Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) suicide bomber who had targeted a Frontier Corps checkpost in Balochistan a day earlier had arrived in Pakistan from Afghanistan.
“The terrorists involved in Quetta and Gwadar blasts were both from Afghanistan,” he claimed during a press conference in Islamabad, adding that both culprits had been identified. Four FC personnel were martyred and 20 others, including two civilians, injured on Sunday after a suicide bomber targeted their checkpost at Quetta’s Mustang Road.
Ahmed claimed that India had 68 training camps in Afghanistan, which were now dysfunctional, reiterating his belief that the Taliban’s takeover of the war-torn state had removed the threat from the TTP. “The Afghans have assured us that they will not allow their land to be used against Pakistan,” he claimed, but noted that regardless, the Pakistan Army had the capacity to deal with any militants effectively.
To a question, the interior minister said Pakistan would decide how to manage its side of the Torkham and Chaman border crossings, while the Taliban would make decisions on their side. Islamabad would not permit the entry of individuals who did not possess valid travel documents, he added.
Ahmed welcomed the Taliban’s desire to become part of China’s Belt and Road initiative, reiterating that progress of Pakistan and Afghanistan was interlinked. Describing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor as the economic lifeline of Pakistan, he said it was “encouraging” to see the Taliban desiring positive ties with Beijing. Pakistan was proud of its friendship with China, said the minister, adding that if the Taliban “hold similar views, then it is really good.”
The minister also dismissed speculation of refugee camp along the Pak-Afghan border, claiming such reports were “absolutely false” and part of “India’s baseless propaganda.”