ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court directed Interior Ministry on Friday to provide detailed data on smuggling of children to Arab countries as camel jockeys.
The court urged the ministry to submit a comprehensive report on all aspects of the illegal activity, including correct figures of children recovered and how many of the criminals were arrested or punished. No stern action had been taken against people involved in the illegal business because of inaction on the part of the interior ministry and the lack of legislation, a three-member bench of the apex court observed during the hearing of a suo motu case on the application of a man from southern Punjab on Friday.
The bench, comprising Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday and Justice Ghulam Rabbani, further directed the government to properly legislate, citing the example of the UAE government in this regard. Interior Ministry’s Joint Secretary Shabbir Ahmad told the court that a three-member cabinet committee headed by federal Minister for Overseas Pakistanis Dr Farooq Sattar had held three meetings so far.
Shabir also said that the government had received $1.135 million from the UAE government as compensation for the victims. Stressing the need for upholding national honour and dignity, the Chief Justice said that stern action should be initiated against people involved in this heinous crime.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 15th, 2010.