Balochistan pledges to redress pilgrims’ issues

QUETTA - The provincial government has pledged to address the issues of Shia pilgrims who travel to Iran via Balochisan during a high level session here to review the security and facilities for Shia Pilgrims at Pakistan House Iran.

Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan, Federal Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi, Chief Secretary Balochistan Akhter Nazeer, Provincial Ministers Mir Zahoor Buledi, Saleem Khosa, Advisor to CM Khaliq Hazara, IG Police COS Major General Kaleem, IG FC South Major General Sardar Tariq, IG FC North Major General Nadeem Anjum, and religious leaders from Shia and Sunni sects participated in the session.

The IG FC and concerned officials informed the session regarding security arrangements for Shia pilgrims on 650km journey from Quetta to Iran border. Interior Minister Shehiryar Afridi informed the participants of the session regarding his tour of Taftan and pilgrims’ complaints over lack of facilities and slow procedure of immigration at Pakistan House in Iran.

The meeting directed the federal and provincial departments to make all necessary arrangements before Muharram and Safar as a large number of Shia pilgrims travel to Iran and Iraq in these two months.

It was decided to refurbish Pilgrims Date Entry system and establish a separate facilitated spot where pilgrims from the country could stay in the provincial capital Quetta.

Addressing the session, Chief Minister Balochistan Jam Kamal Khan Aliyani said, the government of Balochistan had been looking for federal government’s assistance towards the serious issue of pilgrims' security while traveling from Balochistan.

“On our demand, Prime Minister Imran Khan immediately sent the interior minister and his team to visit Pak-Iran border and take necessary arrangement for the security and facilities for Shia Pilgrims.” Jam Kamal said while lauding the quick response by the prime minister.

CM Balochistan, on the occasion, vowed to foster interfaith harmony and good governance in Balochistan saying Prime Minister Khan on his visit to Quetta would be thoroughly informed regarding provincial woes.

“With available resources and capacity the provincial government has been utilizing earnest efforts to resolve the issues of Balochistan,” Jam Kamal said.

Federal Interior Minister Shehiryar Khan lauded the efforts of Balochistan government in restoring law and order in the province, saying he would submit the report of his Taftan visit before the prime minister while the issues of Shia pilgrims on Pak-Iran border would be resolved on priority basis.

Shehryar Afridi said it was prime responsibility of federal and provincial government to ensure protection and necessary facilities to pilgrims in the country.

Addressing a press conference here after holding meeting with scholars belonging to different school of thoughts, he said he visited Taftan near Pak-Iran borders on Friday at the instruction of Prime Minister Imran Khan who had taken notice of reports about problems Pakistanis faced during pilgrimage.

Afridi said he also inspected immigration of pilgrims, so that their problems would be solved in a proper way, saying that immigration desks has also been increased at Taftan in order to facilitate the pilgrims.

He said the matter would be discussed with Iran for the provision of all amenities and security arrangements to the pilgrims.

The minister said that the requirements of Balochistan police and other security institutions would be fulfilled at any cost.

He urged all Ulema to play their vital role in promoting religious harmony for the betterment of the country.

Earlier, the minister met with all segment of scholars and Hazara Community and they apprised him of their problems.

The minister assured them that provincial government was taking concrete measures for addressing their issues.


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