LAHORE - Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Saturday that the validity of passports would be increased from five to ten years from September 15, adding that special task forces would be formed at all airports to root out corruption.
While inaugurating the new IBMS system at Allama Iqbal Airport, Malik said the task forces would comprise of officials from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and Civil Aviation.
He said the new IBMS system at the airport would check human smuggling, and help collection of taxes. He said that there would be separate counters at the airports for immigration and security. He said the proposed ban on prepaid SIMs (Subscriber Identity Modules) had nothing to do with the Supreme Court or mobile phone companies. He said the ban would target the SIMs issued on fake and stolen national identity cards to prevent acts of terrorism. He said a detailed plan in this connection would be announced in the next few days. He said that on the night before Eid, when mobile phone services were closed, not a single incident of targeted killing occurred in Karachi.
About cross-border incursion, he said that terrorists hiding in Afghanistan were carrying out terrorist activities in Pakistan. He said the government had warned the countries whose forces were present in Afghanistan to take notice of the presence of militants on Afghan soil. He further said that the government would not hesitate to launch an operation in FATA, Swat, Malakand, and at all those places where military intervention was required. He added military action would also be taken in North and South Waziristan to clear the area from terrorists.
While talking about the incidents of terrorism in Gilgit and other cities of the country, the interior minister said that some “third hand” was behind these activities. He promised to expose “the third hand” in the “coming days” with proofs. He said that Pakistan had nothing to do with Badruddin Haqqani, reportedly killed in a drone attack on Friday, adding that Pakistan had no information about his death.