PM Kakar directs swift action against smuggling

PM underscored the significance of establishing special economic zones and industries in border areas.
ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has instructed law enforcement agencies, including the Frontier Corps, Pakistan Customs, and district administration, to intensify efforts to eradicate smuggling practices. In a review meeting focused on Afghan Transit Trade and anti-smuggling operations, the interim premier emphasized the need to curb smuggling, highlighting the disproportionate benefits enjoyed by a few influential individuals.
During the meeting, attended by Caretaker Finance Minister Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, chief secretaries of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces, IGs, federal secretaries, and other senior officials, a comprehensive report on Afghan Transit Trade and anti-smuggling efforts was presented.
Caretaker PM Kakar underscored the significance of establishing special economic zones and industries in border areas to provide alternative livelihood opportunities for local inhabitants. He expressed concern that smuggling primarily benefits influential figures, emphasizing the need to redirect these resources towards legal economic activities.
The meeting recognized the efforts of law enforcement agencies, including Pakistan Customs, Frontier Corps, district administration, and the National Logistics Cell (NLC), in curbing smuggling activities at the border. These efforts have contributed to substantial savings for the national exchequer by preventing the illegal transport of goods.
Prime Minister Kakar called for the formulation of a comprehensive mechanism to provide employment opportunities through social safety nets and skill development programs for local communities. He directed the Ministry of Trade to closely monitor transit trade and inform relevant authorities about export trends.
Expressing determination to end smuggling, PM Kakar stated that the caretaker government would not tolerate local elements claiming to provide job opportunities through illicit practices. He reiterated the government’s commitment to combating smuggling until the end of its tenure.
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To further strengthen anti-smuggling measures, Kakar directed the NLC to expedite its scanning and checking project at the Chaman border. He emphasized the need for Pakistan Customs to enhance its capacity at border areas to ensure stringent punishment for individuals involved in smuggling activities.
PM Kakar also emphasized the importance of controlling the demand and supply of smuggled goods in urban areas and called for the deployment of reputable officers in border districts, particularly sensitive areas. Additionally, he urged the promotion of legal trade in border areas, emphasizing complete documentation and the implementation of the FBR track and trace system for cargo monitoring.
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The ministries of trade and industries were tasked with formulating a comprehensive strategy for establishing special investment zones and industries in border regions. PM Kakar stressed that progress reports on anti-smuggling measures should be submitted promptly to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of efforts.