Thursday April 18, 2024

213 Pak prisoners detained in Afghan jails, Senate told

February 23, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Information Technology Anusha Rehman Khan told the Senate session on Thursday that the government earmarked over Rs20 billion in the last four years for provision of broadband services in Balochistan.

Responding to a question in the upper house of the Parliament, she said that the government was following a policy of providing ultra high frequency (UHF) internet services to all citizens of the country. She said such facilities were available in Mastung, Zhob, Sibbi, Kalat, Awaran and other areas of Balochistan.

The minister said that the government was also providing broadband internet services in three agencies of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), while the facility would be extended to the rest of the tribal belt upon security clearance. She said a large part of Dera Ismail Khan was also under UHF coverage.

Responding to a question, Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab Ahmed said Pakistan International Airlines has become more autonomous since it has been made a limited company. He said the PIA was finalising its Strategic Business Plan 2018-22 to turn around the airline and making it a profitable entity.

State Minister for Finance Rana Muhammad Afzal Thursday informed the Senate that some 213 Pakistanis were detained in Bagram and Pul-e-Charkhi jails in Afghanistan and efforts were being made to set free them.

In his ministerial response to a point of public importance regarding media reports that some 200 Pakistanis had been detained in Bagram prison in Afghanistan and most of them had completed their sentence but still detained in the jail, the minister said no demand came from any quarters in Pakistan.

He said Pakistan embassy officials were given access to meet the prisoners in three groups in Bagram. However, they (officials) were not allowed to held meeting with the prisoner individually, he said.

The minister said all the prisoners were in good health. The officials were also not yet informed under which charges the prisoners were detained, he said. In response to another point of public importance, Mushahidullah Khan told the house that the PIA flights from Quetta to Dubai and Quetta to Turbat and Gwardar were suspended due to shortage of aircrafts. He said PIA had total 33 aircrafts and out of which 20 were on leased. The flights would be resumed once new aircrafts inducted in the PIA fleet, he said.