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Pakistan calls for enhanced dialogue and cooperation on migration issues

ISTANBUL, 21 February 2019: Addressing the 6th Ministerial Conference of the Budapest Process on migration issues in Istanbul, Pakistan’s Minister of State for Interior, Mr. Shehryar Afridi stressed the need for enhanced dialogue and cooperation between countries of origin, transit and destination.

The Minister underscored that to effectively address migration, law enforcement cooperation needs to be supplemented by efforts to address underlying drivers of irregular migration and opening more avenues for legal migration. He also invited attention to assess the impact of restrictive visa regime and stringent border controls on the entire cycle of migration.

The Minister also called for countering the tendencies of xenophobia, racial profiling and Islamophobia in destination and cautioned against scapegoating migrants for narrow political gains.

Minister Shehryar Afridi said Pakistan is both a country of origin as well as destination for migrants. He added Pakistan continued to host, on an average, more than a million irregular migrants from neighbouring countries and the region for over four decades. He said these migrants have enjoyed social mobility, employment opportunities and access to health and education.  He said that Pakistan has effective migration policies that were implemented through robust legal and administrative frameworks.

On the sidelines of the Conference, Minister Shehryar Afridi held meetings with the Ministers of Interior of Turkey, Greece, Croatia as well as the Minister for Refugees of Afghanistan, and exchanged views on various aspects of migration.

Another promise of Imran Khan fulfilled with launch of same-day delivery service of driving licenses

Minister of State for Interior Shehryar Khan Afridi on Tuesday said that with the launching of same-day delivery of driving licenses to common citizens, Government had fulfilled another promise made by Prime Minister Imran Khan during the electioneering process.

The Minister made this statement while addressing the audience at the inauguration of same-day delivery of driving licenses held here at the ITP headquarters. IGP Islamabad Amir Zulfiqar Khan and other senior officials were also present.

The Minister said that during the electioneering process, PTI had raised the slogan of “Do Naheen Aik Pakistan” by doing away the draconian laws and feudal mindset of the colonial era.

He said that in past, general public used to pay hefty amounts but would get driving licenses after several weeks. On the contrary, he said, the influential and rich would get the driving licenses in one day.   

“Today, let me say it proudly that from now on, poor and rich would get same treatment at ITP. Now the poor and rich would get driving licenses the same day without paying any extra fee. Pakistan is now moving towards a welfare state as promised by Prime Minister Imran Khan. We will ensure that the elites and common Pakistanis are treated equally and poor get same treatment enjoyed by elites in the past,” he said.

Shehryar Afridi said that he was a representative of common Pakistanis and his aim and objective was to facilitate the common man.

He said that the government was striving to serve the common man with justice and basic amenities . He said that the interior ministry had also launched reforms process in Islamabad Police on the pattern of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police Reforms.

He said that strict action would be taken against criminals and law violators and no one would be spared irrespective of status and political affiliations.

“Rule of law would be paramount in the Naya Pakistan and action against law violators would be swift and ruthless. We have already shown our vigour during operations against land mafia and drug barons. No one can escape the law anymore,” he said.

He said that action is also being taken against the facilitators and abettors of drug mafia and land grabbers and swift action would be taken irrespective of the fact how much anyone is influential.

Talking about the issues faced by Islamabad Police, the minister said that he had observed many issues being faced by Islamabad Police officials. However, he said that performance of Islamabad Police was exemplary despite odds which he said was a welcome sign.

“I know that the Shuhda Package for Islamabad Police needs to be revisited. There is also no proper mechanism for employment for the orphans of martyred police officials.

“I myself belong to the family who has sacrificed in war on terrorism. I understand how people suffer when one of leading family member departs. Though the government is facing financial issues, we will make utmost efforts to resolve the issues faced by Islamabad Police,” he said.

Lauding the contributions by IGP Amir Zulfiqar, the minister said that the Capital Police in past months was holding fifth event on public awareness which was commendable. He said that the IGP had fueled a new vigour and commitment among police to serving the common man.

Asked about the matter of Islamabad Cricket Ground, Interior Minister said that the matter was being investigated and justice would be served.

“Whosoever would challenge the writ of the state would be penalized irrespective of status or influence. We will make such elements an example so as no one dare challenge the writ of the government in future,” he concluded.

 

Minister of Interior meets with President of the Religious Affairs of Turkey

ISTANBUL, 19 February 2019: Minister of State for Inerior Mr. Shehryar Afridi is leading Pakistan delegation to the 6thMinisterial Conference of the Budapest Process being held from 19-21 February in Istanbul. The aim of this initiative is to promote safe and regular migration.

Upon his arrival at Ataturk Airport Istanbul, Mr. Shehryar Afridi was received by Minister for Interior of Turkey Mr. Süleyman Soylu and Ambassador of Pakistan Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi. Both counterparts also had a brief meeting. During the meeting, the special nature of Pakistan-Turkey relations was emphasized. It was noted that bilateral cooperation was flourishing in the political, economic, investment, defence, education and cultural spheres. Matters of mutual interest including sharing experience in the fight against terrorism, countering money laundering, curbing illegal migration, etc. were also discussed. Mr. Afridi lauded Turkey’s excellent arrangements for hosting millions of Syrian refugees.

Minister Shehryar Afridi had a surprise visit to Pakistan Consulate General in Istanbul. He showed satisfaction at various services offered by the Consulate including visa facilitation, passports, etc. He mingled with Pakistanis visiting the Consulate for various consular matters. Pakistan Consul General Mr. Bilal Khan Pasha briefed the Minister on the issues faced by Pakistanis in Turkey.

Mr. Shehryar Afridi also called on President of Religious Affairs of Turkey Prof. Ali Erbaş. Both sides discussed collaboration in reform of religious education system. Mr. Afridi showed keen desire to learn from the Turkish Imam Hatip School system. The Turkish model of Imam Hatip School is fusion of Islamic and modern education as it contains as much arts and science classes as normal high schools do.

Govt. to re-introduce Civil Defence culture in educational institutions

ISLAMABAD, Dec 21 (APP):Minister of State for Interior, Shehryar Khan Afridi on Friday said culture of civil defence would be re-introduced in educational institutions to maintain high standard of morale and strong will to win amongst students.

Addressing a ceremony held here at National Institution of Fire Technology (NIFT) to distribute certificates amongst 43 participants of Fire Officers Course, he said the students are future saviors of our country.

The Minister emphasized, "We will give you peace of mind, ensure your capacity building and maximum facilities to NIFT in order to get modern skills of fire fighting. I understand unless you are not provided modern training you would not be able to perform up to the mark."

Shehryar Afridi congratulated the course participants and said, "You will be sent abroad to have knowledge of modern fire fighting methods and also have a first hand knowledge about modern equipment."

He said, "The government would give you due respect and address your genuine issues. In this way we can make you a professional fire fighters."

The Minister said Pakistan is a peace loving sovereign country and has sacrificed more than 70,000 precious lives in war against terrorism, besides, suffering billions of Dollars financial losses.

He said under able leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan the government was trying to put the country on right track where people's money would be spent on their welfare while law would be equal for rich and poor.

Speaking on the occasion, Director General Civil Defence, Muhammad Hanif Khattak said Civil Defence in modern times is very essential for a civilized society.

He said different courses have been arranged during last five years across the country where more than 68,000 persons were imparted training of modern fire fighting.

He also highlighted aims of Civil Defence which are to reduce to minimum the number of casualties, minimize damage and dislocation to essential services and ensure uninterrupted production in mills and factories.

Director NITF, Tariq Javed Qazi shed light on different aspects of 12-week Fire Officers Course and said during the period, the participants from Pakistan Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and other government departments were given lectures on modern fire fighting skills.

Field visits were also arranged for participants during course duration, he added.

He also appreciated the faculty members for providing the best training to the participants.

Major Farhan-ul-Haq won first position while Arshad Mahmood and Muhammad Rafique captured second and third positions respectively during course.

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