Turbat killings: SC grills FIA, Balochistan govt over human smuggling

Turbat killings: SC grills FIA, Balochistan govt over human smuggling

Islamabad (Staff Report): The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) director general and the Balochistan chief secretary to submit a report on human smuggling.

A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar heard a suo motu case regarding the killing of 20 people in Balochistan whose bullet-riddled bodies were found in Turbat, Buleda and Kech in November.

The victims hailed from different districts of Punjab and were brought to Balochistan by human traffickers to be further transported to Iran, crossing the border illegally.

The top court subjected the director general of FIA, Balochistan’s chief secretary and advocate general to intense questioning regarding the incident that sent shock waves across the country.

‘Are incidents like these a matter of pride for the institutions, agencies and the nation?’ the CJP asked.

He questioned why the agencies of the country were unaware and what FIA was doing to thwart such incidents.

On the other hand, the FIA chief admitted before the bench that his agency fell shy of resources and tools for an investigation into such incidents.

To this, the CJP remarked that you (DG FIA) should accept that you cannot do anything owing to the reason cited.

Perturbed by the blatant reply, the DG FIA told the court that despite limited resources, his agency had taken action and sent human smugglers behind bars.

The DG FIA claimed that a terrorist organisation had killed 20 people on ethnic grounds, adding that international gangs also operate in Iran and Turkey besides Pakistan.

The CJP continued that in his opinion the DG FIA had the solution to this issue but hastened to add that the suspects who had been arrested and sent to jail would be released on bail.

The judge said the court could not stay silent just because of lack of resources and asked the FIA chief to give the assurance that a similar incident would not take place in the future.

“Preventing the crime before it takes place is the real skill,” he remarked and added that the judiciary was ready to lend its shoulder for FIA to prove its efficiency.

Meanwhile, the Balochistan chief secretary informed the court that all agencies were coordinating on the matter of human smuggling.

“Extremists have been confined to two districts in Balochistan due to action by the agencies,” he claimed.

The court asked the FIA head and Balochistan government to submit a new report containing details about human smuggling and adjourned the hearing until the first week of February.