Laws being amended to give exemplary punishment to human smugglers: Sanaullah

Laws being amended to give exemplary punishment to human smugglers: Sanaullah

ISLAMABAD, Jun 23 (APP): Minister for Interior Rana Sanaullah Khan on Friday informed the National Assembly that amendments had been proposed in certain laws to give exemplary punishment to the elements involved in heinous crime of the human smuggling and put the lives of abroad job seekers at risk.

Speaking on the floor of the House, the minister expressed concern that as per the available data of the past five years, no individual involved in this heinous crime had been adequately punished due to loopholes in the relevant laws.

The minister said it was unfortunate that some apprehended human smugglers got bails from the courts and some patched up with the affected families.

He revealed that investigations were underway regarding the use of legal documents and visas by Pakistani nationals traveling to countries like the United Arab Emirates, Libya and Egypt, and then proceeded to Europe with illegal documents.

Rana Sanaullah emphasized that all pertinent information was being thoroughly examined.

Providing details of the recent Greece boat tragedy, the minister shared that on June 10 a boat, having a capacity of 400 people, was forced to accommodate 700 individuals. The boat met with an accident in the Mediterranean Sea near Greece.

Out of the 350 Pakistanis on board, only 12 survived, he said somberly reporting that 82 bodies had been recovered from the site so far. Furthermore, 281 affected families in Pakistan have approached the government for assistance, which led to the establishment of a special desk to address their needs.

He informed the House that DNA of 193 families had been taken by the authority. Additionally, under the Prime Minister’s directives, a special committee, headed by a Grade 22 officer, had been formed to investigate the incident.

He assured the House that any negligence found on the part of officials in Pakistan would not be tolerated. The committee is expected to formulate detailed recommendations, which will subsequently be approved by the government, he added. He also mentioned the possibility of amending laws if deemed necessary.

The minister pledged firm action against those involved in the illegal business of human trafficking, affirming the government’s commitment to combat this issue effectively.

Sanaullah expressed his expectations that the Supreme Court’s decision on the trial of civilians in military courts should be in line with the aspirations of the Pakistani people. He stressed the importance of the courts operating within the framework of the law and the country’s Constitution.

Responding to a query, the minister highlighted that according to the most senior judge of the Supreme Court, a nine-member bench was not constituted by the three senior judges to hear the case regarding military court trials.

He stated that the court cannot grant a stay on a law that was currently in the process of passage, as doing so would be against the Constitution.

Furthermore, he criticized the motives of those who approached the Supreme Court to challenge the trial of civilians in military courts and said that they were following their political motives.

The minister alleged that the petitioners had met with a leader from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party and a senior Supreme Court judge before filing the case, insinuating that the bench formation had been discussed during the meeting.

He also mentioned an audio leak, asserting that a desired bench had been formed to secure a favorable decision.

He further accused former Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi of corruption during his tenure, alleging that he received special favors from the courts.

The Interior Minister concluded by stressing the importance of bringing to justice those responsible for attacking military installations and desecrating martyrs’ memorials.

He affirmed the nation’s lack of sympathy for the individuals involved in the incidents on May 9 and called for their accountability.

The minister specifically mentioned that anyone implicated in the attack on military installations would be tried in military courts. He revealed that PTI workers had attacked Jinnah House, resulting in the destruction of important documents.

APP Services