PPP working on plan to mitigate blowback from Afghan situation: Bilawal

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said on Thursday that his political was preparing to deal with the “blowback” from the worsening Afghan situation by preparing for and devising policies for Sindh.

Addressing a press conference after a meeting at the Chief Minister House in Karachi, Bilawal said: "Pakistan will face a loss from the situation developing in Afghanistan and there will be a severe blowback. If anywhere the blowback and reaction will be felt and seen, it will be in Karachi which is home to one of the largest populations of Pakhtuns in the world.

"If the situation in Afghanistan worsens then there will be effects on our environment. We are doing our preparation and making our policies on how to do the kind of development and ready the kind of system in Sindh and our capital Karachi to deal with the coming influx and blowback," said the PPP chairman.

Bilawal stressed that there was a heavy responsibility to not only find solutions for the basic problems of the people but to deal with the "difficulties we are seeing in the coming tomorrow".

"God forbid we will have to see the time of extremism and terrorism again which we had gotten out of. So we will only be able to confront it when the PPP has a stake, has a government and representation."

Bilawal's comments came the same day as Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah chaired the 26th meeting of the apex committee where the Afghan situation and its potential fallout were discussed.

CM Shah ordered law enforcement agencies (LEAs) in the meeting to tighten security across the province and enhance their coordinated intelligence to deal with any fallout.

The chief minister said that the withdrawal of US troops and Taliban advance was likely to lead to a rise in insurgency that "may affect Pakistan, particularly Karachi in terms of terrorism and influx of illegal immigrants, therefore we have to be prepared to control the situation”.

Additional Inspector General-Special Branch Ghulam Nabi Memon too informed the meeting that clashes between the Afghan government and Taliban could bring illegal immigrants to Sindh, particularly Karachi.

CM Shah directed law enforcement agencies to speed up their targeted operations against terrorists. He also gave instructions for a close watch on banned organisations and unruly elements.

Additionally, the chief minister ordered for hateful content and suspicious activities on social media to be monitored. "Some elements will try to incite sectarian hatred, which should not be tolerated under any circumstances," CM Shah said.