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Turbat killings: Supreme Court pulls up FIA over ‘inaction’ against human traffickers

ISLAMABAD: Three-judge bench of Supreme Court on Thursday expressed displeasure over the inaction of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in preventing human trafficking cases in the country.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, heard the suo moto notice of Turbat killings.

The director general of FIA, Balochistan’s chief secretary, and advocate general appeared before the court and submitted the reports.

At the outset of the hearing, the CJP queried whether such incidents were the matter of pride for institutions, agencies and the nation.

Bringing FIA to account, he questioned the role of the agencies in curbing incidents like Turbat tragedy that claimed as many as 20 lives.

On the occasion, the DG FIA conceded before the court that his agency lacked sufficient resources and tools to probe into incidents like this.

To which, the CJP pointed out inaction of the FIA in curbing human trafficking incidents.

The FIA chief then apprised the bench that despite limited resources, his agency has been actively tracking down human smugglers and sending them behind the bar.

“The human traffickers get released on bail,” he lamented.

To which, Justice Umar Ata Bandial asked the FIA chief to name the government agencies which were not cooperation with the FIA.

In response, the DG FIA said the victims in the incidents were killed on ethnic grounds and a terrorist organization had claimed the responsibility for the incident.

“Besides the local gangs, International gangs running networks in Pakistan, Iran, and Turkey also operate in this route,” the official said.

On which, the CJP quipped: “To prevent a crime before it could take place is a real skill.”

The bench then asked the FIA head and Balochistan government representatives to submit a report containing details of human trafficking in the province.

Meanwhile, Balochistan chief secretary informed the top court that all the agencies were coordinating on the matter. He said extremists were limited to two districts of Balochistan owing to security operations.

The court then adjourned the hearing till the first week of February.

Turbat massacre 

Last month, as many as 20 bullet-riddled bodies were recovered from Balochistan’s Turbat district in two incidents, according to the local administration.

The Deputy Commissioner Kech then said the bodies were found in Turbat district’s mountainous area of Gorak. All the bodies were shifted to the Civil Hospital for medico-legal formalities, he added.

All the victims belonged to various cities of Punjab province.

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