ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Interior on Thursday empowered the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) through legislation to take action against human organ trafficking.
Earlier, the federal agency was not in a position to take action against the illegal trade of human organs due to absence of legal cover.
The ministry has issued a notification, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, for placing the Transplantation Human Organ and Tissue Act 2010 on the Schedule of FIA Act 1974 vide entry number 33 for further necessary legal action.
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The FIA Headquarters has informed all zonal directors of Punjab, Sindh, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Islamabad about this development.
On the directives of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, FIA has already launched investigation into illegal trade of human organs. It is conducting investigation against the persons and their facilitators who are involved in this heinous crime.
FIA has been ordered by Nisar to submit a report to this effect within 15 days besides submitting its findings on the matter pertaining to issuance of approval to unauthorised medical colleges.
Just recently a parliamentary panel of the National Assembly had recommended the government to empower FIA to take action against the people involved in human organ trafficking.
FIA seeks legal cover to curb organ trade
The sub-committee of the Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control on March 27 recommended the interior ministry to issue a notification to include ‘Transplantation of Human Organ and Tissue Act, 2007’ and ‘Amendment Act 2010’ in the schedule of FIA.
Previously in January this year FIA had expressed its inability to conduct operation against illegal transportation of human organs as it had no legal purview to do so.
In the backdrop of growing concerns over human trafficking, the FIA had requested the authorities concerned to include in its schedule the relevant legislation to give it legal cover for its operation against it.
It requested the federal government via a letter to include Transplantation of Human Organ and Tissue Act 2007 and Amend Act 2010 in the schedule of FIA.
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Human organ trafficking is a practice that involves organs, almost always kidneys, purchased from living donors. It was criminalised in Pakistan when human organ and tissue act was promulgated in 2007.
It became an act in 2010 when the National Assembly and the Senate passed the act.
The law lays emphasis on organ donation that is ‘voluntary, genuinely motivated, not under duress or coerced’. It says that if a donor is not available within a patient’s immediate family (parents, siblings, spouse and offspring), “a non-close living blood relative” willing to donate his organ can do so provided an evaluation committee of the transplantation facility concerned is satisfied that no financial consideration is involved.
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