Govt to set up port infrastructure on Pak Afghan border: Khurram Dastgir

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Allegations against PM are baseless; references will provide opportunity to prove innocence

ISLAMABAD, June 15 (APP): Minister for Commerce Khurram
Dastgir Khan on Wednesday said Pakistan desired to put in
place port infrastructure along Pak Afghan border to manage goods and human traffic.

“Pak Afghan border cannot be left unmanaged. We are putting in place
port infrastructure to manage traffic and legalize trade between the two countries,” he said in a private news channel programme.

The minister said tension of Pak Afghan border is
affecting bilateral relations as well as trade. “If this border
is properly managed, it will boost trade and help keep record of trans boundary movement of goods and human beings.”

He said tens of thousands people cross Pak Afghan border and
there is need for keeping the record as to who comes into Pakistan and goes back to Afghanistan.

Answering a question about Pakistan’s policy on
Afghanistan, Khurram Dastgir said, Pakistan is pursuing the
policy of non interference in Afghanistan. “Since, the PML N came into power, our government had decided not to interfere in Afghanistan affairs and it was manifested during Afghan general election.”

He further stated that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Advisor
on Foreign Affairs and Chief of Army Staff visited Afghanistan
several times and made them believe that Pakistan will
prefer that Afghanistan owns the initiatives like dialogue with
Taliban and other measures for restoring peace.

He also mentioned initiation of security dialogue
and cooperation between intelligence agencies but stated
that perhaps Afghanistan had thought that Taliban were fully under Pakistan’s control and it will bring them to dialogue table.

“This was a misconceived notion of Afghanistan and when Taliban did not come to dialogue table, Afghanistan thought Pakistan was responsible for this.”

Talking about relations with other neighbors, he said relations with
Iran were normal and both the countries signed a five year economic management plan during visit of Iranian President to Pakistan.

Speaking on the issue of Panama Papers, he said, if the opposition
parties will only focus on the Prime Minister’s House, the matter would become complicated. “The opposition will have to decide that do they want witch hunting of the Prime Minister or evolve a strategy to root out corruption.”

He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif presented himself for accountability and even today the government is ready to resolve the ToR issue and “I am hopeful the matter will be resolved.”