Lahore : Minister for Information and Broadcasting Chaudhry Fawad Hussain Friday said the opening of Kartarpura border was a peace initiative of Pakistan as it wanted normalization of relations with India to resolve economic problems and tackle poverty.
Speaking at a press conference, he said, “Pakistan wanted to
move towards the normalization of relations with India as we think
that if we wanted to fight poverty then the relations should be
Kartarpura border was not a political issue but it was a
humanitarian issue as it was a sacred place of the Sikh community, he said adding, “We respect beliefs of the Sikh community living inside and outside of Pakistan.”
The Minister said the federal cabinet discussed the opening
of Kartarpura border and it was a big initiative of Pakistan and its
Prime Minister Imran Khan had said that Pakistan would take
two steps forward if India would take one step, he reminded.
Fawad said, “We believe that the border should be opened and
the Sikhs living in Indian Punjab should be given the opportunity to
perform their religious rituals in Pakistan if they wanted to. The
place is close to the international border of India and Pakistan and
within a stone’s throw.”
He said a border opening ceremony would be held at
Kartarpura on November 28 to facilitate the Sikh community, adding
further details of the event would be shared.
It would be a big event, Navjot Singh Sidhu would come to
Pakistan, visa would be relaxed for the Indian journalists and
Pakistani and international journalists would also cover the event in
the area of Narowal on Pakistani side of the border, he informed.
He said it would be made a permanent border opening and the Sikh community would come to perform their religious rituals. “It is a peace initiative like other peace initiatives of the government.”
He further told Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called
the Foreign Minister of China and took him into confidence about the attack incident on the China’s consulate in Karachi. The Chinese
foreign minister reciprocate the sentiments and said China would support Pakistan and no such incident could affect relations of the two countries.
Fawad said there were reports that certain powers could not
digest the relations of Pakistan and China and there was a possibility
of such an incident and unfortunately it occurred.
The security officers and police fought and the terrorists
failed to achieve their nefarious designs, he said adding Friday was
chosen to inflict maximum damage as more people come to collect visas.
He said the cabinet paid tribute to those who laid down their
lives in Karachi and Hangu. Further the cabinet approved appointment of Arif Usmani as the new President of the National Bank, he added.
The minister told that legally, second hand phones were
banned but in all markets these phones were available and the cabinet had decided to install a new Device Identification Registration and Blocking System (DIRBS) to block the smuggled phones that will be used after December 31 after checking International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI).
“The restriction will not be imposed on the phones already in use,” he added.
The minister said the cabinet discussed and was of the view
the manufacturing of mobile phones at the local level should be
encouraged and after that import of second hand phones could be