Balochistan minister opposes relocation of Afghans
QUETTA: Maulana Abdul Wasay, senior planning and development minister, has opposed the shifting of Afghan refugees to other parts of Balochistan saying that the relocation of the refugees could lead to violence in the province.
Mr Wasey feared that the relocation of Afghan refugees far from the border area could be made on the directives of the United States. He said that the American and Afghan government had repeatedly complained that some miscreants were using Pakistani soil for violent activities inside Afghanistan.
He said that the US and the Afghan government claimed that peace had been brought in Afghanistan therefore the refugees must be repatriated to their homeland because Pakistan was not in a position to shoulder the extra burden. The tribesmen of Qila Saifullah, Zhob and Chaman have unanimously decided not to allow the refugees on their land, said Mr Wasay. He said that it was surprising that Afghanistan was not accepting its own people and was asking Pakistan to settle them far from their border.
The senior minister denied that Al Qaeda and Taliban suspects were in Qila Saifullah or other areas. The Taliban have disappeared after the US attack, he added.
Meanwhile Nawabzada Hasan Khan Jogezai, nazim of Qila Saifullah, denied reports that the crimes branch police had recovered a huge cache of weapons from his district. Not a single bullet has been recovered, he added. When asked about the reason of such reports, the nazim said that it could be a way to start a military operation in the area. He said his administration would support such an operation.
Mr Wasay who belongs to Qila Saifullah said that the area was peaceful and calm but certain elements were trying to create unrest there. He said that his government would oppose any military operation started in the area. Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees decided to shift about 72,000 refugees living near the Pak-Afghan border in Chaman to Muslim Bagh in Qila Saifullah. A UNHCR spokesman said that the relocation process was expected to start from May. —Azizullah Khan