Pakistan’s Interim Government Launches Aggressive Crackdown on Smuggling and Hoarding

Web DeskSeptember 11, 2023

In a stern message to smugglers and hoarders, Interim Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti issued a strong warning, particularly targeting those engaged in illicit activities related to essential commodities such as wheat, sugar, urea, oil, and dollars. The interim government’s commitment to curbing these unlawful practices was resoundingly clear.

Read More: Customs Seizes Smuggled Goods Worth Rs 2.25 Billion in Two Weeks

During a press conference held alongside Information Minister Murtaza Solangi, Bugti stressed the paramount importance of Pakistan and its citizens. He underlined that the government would not tolerate smuggling and hoarding, pledging to take vigorous measures to tackle these issues head-on.

As a part of this crackdown, the government announced plans to reward individuals who provide information regarding smuggling, hoarding, and illegal immigration—a move aimed at incentivizing public cooperation.

Bugti revealed that the operation against smuggling and hoarding had been underway for the past week, yielding significant achievements. Authorities had already seized thousands of tons of urea and sugar across the country. Additionally, an operation targeting Hawala and Hundi, informal money transfer systems, had led to the arrest of approximately 50 individuals.

The minister expressed concern over how these illegal activities burdened the general public, undermined legitimate businesses, and damaged the country’s economy. He emphasized the government’s commitment to protecting lawful enterprises and urged citizens to report any unlawful practices.

In response to the surge in terrorist activities, Bugti called for calm, emphasizing that the most pressing challenge currently faced by the nation was economic. Regarding the smuggling and hoarding of dollars, he warned that intelligence agencies were actively pursuing those involved, and the state would take necessary measures to address the issue.

Bugti announced the establishment of toll-free numbers for reporting information related to smuggling and hoarding, highlighting the government’s dedication to engaging the public in its efforts.

During a question-and-answer session, the minister reiterated that no one, regardless of their status or stature, would be spared if found guilty of smuggling or hoarding. He reaffirmed the interim government’s unwavering commitment to eradicating these illegal practices.

Bugti provided statistics regarding the Federal Investigation Agency’s (FIA) efforts against Hundi and Hawala, including 48 raids and 48 FIRs filed, resulting in the arrest of 59 individuals. He pledged to share the names and pictorial evidence of those arrested, allowing the public to identify those working against the state.

Emphasizing that smugglers and hoarders posed a significant threat to the nation, Bugti assured that any law enforcement personnel found involved in illegal activities would face strict action. He praised the role of locals in a recent incident in Chitral and underscored the government’s commitment to protecting every inch of the country.

Regarding the involvement of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) or any other terrorist outfit, Bugti clarified that they were all considered terrorists, and stern action would be taken against them. The message was clear: the interim government was resolute in its mission to restore order and uphold the rule of law.

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