Ahsan visits ‘Sasta Bazar’ fire incident site, assures support

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APP18-26 ISLAMABAD: August 26 – Interior Minister Professor Ahsan Iqbal during his visit to the scorched stalls in G-9 Weekly Bazar. APP

ISLAMABAD, Aug 26 (APP): Minister for Interior Prof Ahsan
Iqbal Saturday visited the fire incident site at ‘Sasta Bazar’
situated in Sector H-9 near Peshawar Mor and reviewed the damages
suffered by shopkeepers in the tragedy.
He along with Minister of State for Capital Administration and
Development Division (CADD) Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry, Mayor and
Chairman Capital Development Authority (CDA) Sheikh Anser Aziz
took round of the gutted stalls.
Affected shopkeepers apprised the minister about their
financial loss due to a horrific fire that reduced several shops
to ashes on Wednesday morning.
Talking to media, the Interior Minister assured the affected
shopkeepers of the government’s full support in reestablishing their
business there.
He said around 600 people were affected in the incident,
adding that a damage assessment committee had been constituted,
which would prepare its report within two days for onward submission
to the Prime Minister for compensation.
He said rescue operation was started promptly because of CCTV
cameras installed under the Safe City Project and other safety
measures adopted by the district administration, otherwise the
volume of losses would have been higher.
The minister said the blaze was controlled within two hours
and it could be dozed off in initial stage, if shopkeepers would
have followed the prescribed safety measures and installed fire
extinguishers.
He directed the CDA to make an assessment of all business
centers and high-rise shopping malls whether they were following the
required safety measures or not, besides asking to make the city
fire-brigade department more efficient.
Ahsan Iqbal said all commercial sites should be fully equipped
with the gadgets to meet emergencies as it was must for safety of
all.
Mayor and Chairman CDA Sheikh Anser Aziz said rescue teams had
reached the incident site within nine minutes after receiving the
emergency call, and extinguished the fire in two hours.
He said intensity of fire was high because it was erupted in
cloth and plastic material, which took extra time in overpowering
the blaze.
Answering a question, the Interior Minister said a joint
investigation was conducted into the Dawn Leaks issue and taken to
its logical end. “Now it is a past and closed transaction,” he
added.
He said Pakistan needed greater unity and a strong message
should be sent to the world that “We are the one nation” and those
who wanted any destability in the country, would fail.
Replying to a question about prevailing situation in
Afghanistan and other Muslim countries, the Minister said that he
himself had time and again pointed out the conspiracies being
hatched in the countries surrounding Pakistan.
He said Pakistan was moving on a fast-track progress and
development but the national economy suffered a loss of around $ 14
billion during the last three to four months due to the political
situation created by some political figures.
He said conspiracies and progress could not move together in
any country, adding that the government wanted to see stability and
permanent peace in the country, for which a strong and flourishing
economy was must.
Ahsan Iqbal said the Interior Ministry would continue to play
an effective role under the National Action Plan (NAP) for national
peace and stability.
Commenting on a recent statement of the US President, the
Minister said both political and military leadership examined the
statement by all aspects and rejected Donald Trump’s assertions of
billions of dollars payments to Pakistan over the years on account
of eliminating terrorism.
He said fight against terrorism was in Pakistan’s own interest
and not to please anyone else, because it was aspirant of lasting
peace in the region.
“Pakistan is a distinguished country among
comity of the nations and it will continue its efforts for regional
peace in collaboration with friendly countries,” he remarked.
Responding to another question, Ahsan Iqbal said the Ministry
would make Islamabad Police a role model force for other provinces.
He said police stations of the capital would be transformed
into model police stations by December this year, for which special
training was being imparted to personnel.
Moreover, he said Police stations were being equipped with
latest technologies, and peace and reconciliatory committees were
also being activated to facilitate citizens.
“We will make Islamabad Police a friendly force to serve the
public in a more efficient manner,” he remarked.