Ready to issue ID card; ‘politics of threats’ not acceptable: govt

* Nisar says issue of Altaf Hussain’s ID card blown out of proportion deliberately * More ‘non-combatant’ Taliban prisoners will be released in coming days

ISLAMABAD: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Friday said that the government was ready to issue National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) and the passport to MQM chief Altaf Hussain but warned the party from issuing threats to the government.
The minister told a press conference that he had already assured Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad two days ago that the ID card issue would be resolved soon. “I told the governor that interior ministry will delegate authority to NADRA for sending a team to the house of Altaf Hussain. The team will capture Altaf’s photograph, complete his form and take his thumb and finger impressions,” he said, as he warned MQM against ‘politics of threats’ that, according to him, would never help in issue of documents to Altaf Hussain.
Nisar said the MQM chief will have to follow the official procedures to get his identity card. He said Altaf never applied for the card or the passport in last 22 years. He said Altaf Hussain had not submitted the request form for the ID card at the NADRA office in London, which, he said, is mandatory for everyone to get a new card.
The minister said former high commissioner Wajid Shamsul Hassan was at a dinner at Altaf Hussain’s house in London when a NADRA official was called there. The NADRA official took Altaf’s fingerprints for the ID card, Nisar said, and clarified that the form which is being shown on media was to be re-submitted with NADRA office in London within 30 days of its issue. “It is required by NADRA rules and regulations, and no one is above the law,” he added.
Nisar said the matter has been blown out of proportion deliberately. “I spoke to Sindh governor and Haider Abbas Rizvi but the issue has been made more complicated. Threats are being hurled. Such tactics cannot work on me. MQM has to refrain from issuing threats if it wants identity card and passport issued to Altaf Hussain,” he asserted. 
The minister invited the MQM to discuss other issues with him. “The ID card is not an issue.”
Speaking on the issue of terrorism in Karachi, the minister said that the crime rate in the city has reduced during the months of September to January. He said that Rangers will have complete authority over the targeted operations in Karachi. He said efforts are being made to ensure complete support and coordination with Rangers from other state institutions.
The minister said crime rate in federal capital has increased shockingly. “I have directed Islamabad police and the Rangers to work jointly to control the alarming rise in crime in Islamabad.”
Nisar said the matter of prisoners in different countries would be resolved soon. 
He said the interior ministry and army will help polio workers eradicate the disease.
On the issue of negotiations with Taliban, Nisar said more ‘non-combatant’ Taliban prisoners would be released in the coming days. He said the Taliban-nominated committee has been asked to fix time and venue for further negotiations. He said agenda of the government is to negotiate within the boundaries of the constitution and country’s laws.
The minister categorically said there had never been any deadlock in the peace process. The peace talks are, however, stalled due to infighting between two groups of Taliban in North Waziristan, he maintained. Nisar hoped a meeting will be held soon to review the dialogue process. “It is because of the seriousness of the government that the process has come this far.”

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