Caretaker Interior Minister Sarfraz Bugti has announced that security personnel engaged in smuggling across borders will face court-martial proceedings. The government has intensified its efforts to combat smugglers transporting goods and currency to Afghanistan, particularly in recent months amidst economic challenges. This crackdown has yielded positive results, including a reduction in speculation and a significant recovery of the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar, positioning it as the best-performing global currency. Nevertheless, analysts remain cautious about the potential long-term consequences of these administrative actions.
Bugti acknowledged that security forces are involved in smuggling, emphasizing that such illicit activities primarily occur through trucks rather than camels. Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir has explicitly instructed military personnel engaged in illegal cross-border trade to expect severe consequences, including court-martial and imprisonment.
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Bugti clarified that the army’s internal accountability process remains undisclosed to the public but has been in operation recently, including after May 9. He emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment to taking strong action against smugglers and expressed gratitude for the role of law enforcement agencies in these efforts. The government is determined to address activities such as hawala, hundi, and other illegal practices firmly.
Furthermore, authorities have been actively involved in recovering commodities, including 8,000 metric tonnes of sugar, and have taken measures against petrol stations selling substandard fuel. A database is under development to monitor trucks engaged in smuggling, and 168 FIRs have been filed against individuals involved in illegal dollar trading.