Friday, December 15, 2017

SC summons comprehensive report on human trafficking in Balochistan


* Court told incident of killings in Turbat linked with sectarianism and terrorism and not with human smuggling

DECEMBER 15, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director general and Balochistan chief secretary to submit a comprehensive report over human trafficking in the province.

A three-member Supreme Court bench comprising Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, Justice Umar Ata Bandial and Justice Faisal Arab, issued the directions while hearing a suo motu case pertaining to killing of 20 people in Balochistan.

At the onset of the hearing, the chief justice expressed dismay over the role of agencies, particularly the FIA, in the growing cases of human trafficking in the country.

FIA DG Bashir Ahmad, Balochistan chief secretary and advocate general Balochistan appeared before the court on notice and submitted reports in pursuance of the court’s earlier orders.

The chief justice asked the FIA head as to whether the incidents that took place in Turbat and other areas were a matter of pride for the institutions, agencies and the nation. He directed the FIA head to ensure that such incident do not happen again. He said preventing a crime before it is committed was the real skill.

The DG FIA appraised the court that the incident happened near Pak-Iran border. He claimed that 20 individuals were killed by a terrorist outfit on the basis of their ethnicity. He said an international human smuggling gang was operating in Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.

The chief justice, however, noted that as per media reports the persons who were killed had come from different areas of Punjab. “What was the role of FIA … why such incidents were happening and why the agencies were ignorant?” the chief justice asked.

The FIA head admitted before the court that although they had limited resources to curb the incidents of human trafficking, they had arrested several human traffickers after launching a crackdown and sent them behind the bars after registering cases against them.

The chief justice then observed that the arrested people would be released on bails, adding that the courts could pass only orders while the relevant institutions were required to ensure implementation of these orders in true letter and spirit.

The court was apprised that the incident of killings in Turbat was linked with the sectarianism and terrorism and not human smuggling. The chief secretary apprised the court that the issue of human trafficking was being tackled seriously and that all the agencies were coordinating in this regard.

He claimed that extremists have been now confined to only two districts in Balochistan due to massive action by the agencies.

Meanwhile, the court directed the FIA head and chief secretary to submit before comprehensive reports over the human trafficking as well as the measures being taken for the effective control of the menace.

The hearing was later adjourned till first week of February.

Last month, Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar had taken suo motu notice on media reports carrying details of the incident of killing of 20 people in Balochistan whose bullet riddled dead bodies were found in areas of Turbat and Buleda in Kech District of Balochistan.

As per media reports, these persons hailed from different districts of Punjab and they were brought to Balochistan by human traffickers for their further journey to Iran by crossing the border illegally.

Taking notice of the matter, the chief justice had summoned a detailed report from Balochistan inspector general of police and FIA director general.

Published in Daily Times, December 15th 2017

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