ISLAMABAD - Inspector General Frontier Corps (North) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Major General Rahat Naseem Ahmed Khan Wednesday told a Senate panel that Arab-based militant organization Daesh or Islamic State (IS) had presence in Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.

Briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Interior, IG Frontier Corps (North) KP also ruled out possibility of any footprints of Daesh in Pakistan. “Around 1200 to 1300 militants of Daesh are present in Nangarhar,” he said.

The IG further said that FC had completed fencing of 586 kilometers, out of 822 kilometers, of Afghan border alongside erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). Some places are at an altitude of 8,280 feet and in 14-feet deep snow, he said. “FC would complete work of fencing along Afghan border by the end of October 30,” he said. He also said that 752 FC personnel sacrificed their lives and 2,664 got injured in the war on terror and security-related duties.

Chairman Senate body takes exception to irregularities, death of animals, birds in Islamabad Zoo

He said that FC was proud to claim that FC KP took a tank to 12,000 feet height setting a world record, adding that tank was fully operational there. He added that they were combating firing incidents from Afghanistan side continuously.

Informing the committee on the organisational structure and working of the FC KP (North), IG FC Major General Rahat said the FC (North) had been tasked to serve borders of the country. “FC was entrusted a special role during war on terror since 2001 due to its outstanding performance and commitment towards their job and understanding of the culture, norms and traditions of the people living in then FATA and across the border.” He said that keeping in view the social norms and values of the tribal areas, a number of female soldiers had also been recruited in FC KP for search operation against miscreants.

Chairman Committee Senator A. Rehman Malik highly appreciated recruitment of women and directed the Ministry of Interior that rules should be made for establishing proper cadre of female soldiers giving them full promotional opportunities to the level of officer ranks. He also said that the Afghan government could be behind the cross border firing on Pakistani forces directing the government to take up the matter with Afghan government to stop abetting terrorists on Pak-Afghan border.

The chair directed the director general Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to open at least five to eight windows at Torkham Border for immigration as daily more than 12000 people crossed Pak-Afghan border. He also directed to study whether the biometric system for the purpose of immigration could be installed at all points of Pak-Afghan borders. The committee strongly condemned the ongoing brutalities in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) by Indian forces. It also paid rich tribute to the martyrs of FC KP and extended heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the bereaved families of the martyrs. Senator A. Rehman Malik lauded the role of FC KP for their sacrifices and securing every inch of the borders of the motherland. He said that sacrifices of FC KP were more than any other force in the country. “We are proud of our armed forces and their command and appreciate General Qamar Javed Bajwa for his role in fighting terrorism.”

At the outset, Senator A. Rehman Malik said their hearts and souls were with the victim families and brave people of IOK and they fully supported them in their struggle for legitimate right of self-determination under United Nations Security Council resolutions.

Senator Malik said that since August 5th when the Indian government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi unilaterally and illegally scrapped the special status of Kashmir by revoking Article 370 and 35A, there was complete lockdown in the valley. He said because of the continuous curfew, people had been deprived of the basic amenities of life and had been caged in their own homes without any access to groceries, food, water, medicines.

Senator Kalsoom Parveen said that pregnant women in Indian Occupied Kashmir were dying in their homes because they had no access to the hospitals. Senator Malik said that soon he would be accompanying the team of Hurriyat leaders in the International Court of Justice to file a petition against Indian brutalities and human rights violations in Kashmir. .

Chairman committee took exception to the mismanagement, irregularities and death of animals and birds in the Islamabad Zoo. The Mayor Municipal Corporation Islamabad Sheikh Ansar Aziz informed the committee that news regarding death and mistreatment of animals and birds in the Islamabad Zoo was propaganda by some non-governmental organizations which wanted to take control of the zoo in their hands. He added that there was a proposal to export elephant “Kawan” to Sri Lanka which was not possible of its huge size. A team of expert doctors visited Islamabad Zoo and checked up the elephant and said that elephant was suffering from loneliness.  Senator Malik directed that three more elephants should be imported from Sri Lanka, adding that in this regard he would personally request to the Sri Lankan High Commissioner Noor Deen Shaheid. He also stated that nobody should be allowed to mistreat animals and the committee would visit the zoo to observe animal care there.

Senator Malik had taken suo moto notice on fake Twitter accounts with particular reference to an account belonging to Senator Aitzaz Ahsan being operated on social media. Director Cyber Crime Cell FIA informed the committee that the matter was taken with Twitter administration and got the fake account blocked. “However, Twitter didn’t share the IP addresses and other details of the handler.”

The chair directed Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and FIA to coordinate closely to cater the cybercrimes which were increasing with the passage of time in the country. He directed the Ministry of Interior to remove bottlenecks in the SoPs which might create hurdles in sharing information between PTA and FIA.