Caretaker PM expresses resolve to bring those involved in smuggling, illicit trade to book

Caretaker PM expresses resolve to bring those involved in smuggling, illicit trade to book

ISLAMABAD, Sep 13 (APP):Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Wednesday said that they had identified the officials and political personalities, at the federal and provincial levels, who were involved in smuggling and illegal trade activities.

The relevant authorities were also securing evidences against them which would be produced before the courts of law, leading to their conviction, he said and assured that a stern action would be taken against all those involved in such activities.

Expressing his views during the talk show programme of a private TV channel (SAMAA), the prime minister said that in the Iranian oil smuggling issue, a number of bureaucrats and political figures were involved.

The political figures in the past had raised the issue of granting permission for trade in the border areas, he added.

The deputy commissioners in those areas used to to issue tokens worth Rs 200,000 to Rs 250,000 for the movement of each vehicle carrying oil. More than 20,000 such vehicles were involved in the illicit trade, giving rise to illicit revenue generation, he added.

About a question regarding the illegal dollars trade, he said that through stringent measures, they stopped the trade physically and through enforcement of contemporary laws.

“We have changed the nomenclature for such illegal activity by terming it ‘illicit trade’. At least, we have achieved a milestone in this regard,” he added.

PM Kakar further elaborated that the US dollars were converted into different currencies and parked across the region, leading to a vicious cycle that was functioning for the the last one and one and a half year, which was now being smashed through physical crackdown and border management laws.

The prime minister expressed the optimism that Pakistani rupee would be further strengthened.

About holding of elections in the country, he opined that the polls could be held in mid-January or by the end of January, however, it was upto the Election Commission to take a decision in that regard.

He said that the caretaker set up was ready to assist the electoral process, look after the law and order and financial matters related to holding of elections.

The delimitation was a due and constitutional process, the president had also advised the ECP in that regard, and the Commission would hold deliberations, he added.

The prime minister, about a query, maintained that inflation was linked with the supply and demand of goods and the availability of essential services. He said an artificial inflation was created through hoarding and smuggling, adding that ongoing operations were yielding tangible result and positive outcome, and cited the reduction in price of sugar etc.

To another question regarding economic revival, he lauded the incumbent Chief of Army Staff for contributing towards the national economy.

He said that the organizational strength of the armed forces was being utilized though it was an additional burden on them.

He stressed upon capacity building of those civil institutions which were facing a deteriorating situation. In his view, the utilization of an organization’s strength, always delivered good results, he added.

The prime minister said that the incoming government should focus on manufacturing and enhancement of services and without any financial reforms programme in the manifestos of the political parties could affect the achievement made during the short period of caretaker government.

He said that the economic stability was linked with the political stability and all the political parties had the inherent rights to acquire political power through legal course and without disfiguring the constitutional and legal provisions.

About the May 9 incidents, he expressed how could anyone set his own house on fire after getting angered. There was no logic in such acts and approach, which neither would succeed nor would be accepted.

“If I have been a part of the PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) , I will have genuinely condemned such acts and taken the party away from the vandalism,” he asserted.

PM Kakar, responding to a question about trials of PTI chief, said that such matters should be left to the courts to decide.

About Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s arrest, he observed that it was upto the law enforcement agencies to decide whether laws permitted someone to be handcuffed or not.

About a related query regarding the return of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader and former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to Pakistan, he said the law enforcement agencies would decide whether he could be arrested or otherwise in accordance with the laws.

They would intervene only if the laws were defied, he added.

Welcoming the incoming Chief Justice of Pakistan, the prime minister said he considered him as a modern and enlightened personality of his native province Balochistan and hoped he would initiate judicial reforms.

The prime minister, to another question, said that the US forces had trained the Afghan national army and spent trillion of dollars in Afghanistan, but after their withdrawal, the Afghan national force disappeared quickly and the weapons given to them disappeared. Now, the same were on sale in the black markets across the globe, he said, adding that the terrorists outfits like TTP, Daesh and BLA had used such weapons in terrorist acts inside Pakistan.

He said a large number of Afghans who had been living in Pakistan without documents or forged documents would be immediately repatriated.

The prime minister also agreed that there should be a transparent accountability of all, but using it as a tool for political victimization, should end.

By Irfan Khan

Journalist with a baggage of 25 years of experience in national, political, judicial, constitutional and international affairs. Extensively covered events, developing news and happenings with pieces of articles and analysis.

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