Shehbaz calls for third-party audit of ATT monitoring system

PM reiterates resolve to purge country of smuggling, lauds army chief’s efforts

Our Correspondent April 19, 2024
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chairs a meeting regarding nationwide anti-smuggling drive in Islamabad on April 19, 2024. PHOTO: PID


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, reiterating the resolve to purge the country of smuggling, on Friday directed the authorities concerned to accelerate the countrywide drive against the menace.

The prime minister, chairing a meeting to curb smuggling, paid tribute to Army Chief General Syed Asim Munir for his full cooperation with the government in its endeavour against smuggling.

A report of the investigation committee headed by AD Khawaja was also presented in the meeting.
The prime minister lauded the committee for identifying the elements involved in misusing the Afghan Transit Trade for smuggling and the officers facilitating them.

The prime minister was told that a list of smugglers, hoarders and their facilitating officers have been forwarded to the law enforcement agencies and provincial governments.

The prime minister directed removing the identified officers from their respective posts and initiating disciplinary proceedings against them. He also asked the LEAs and intelligence agencies to cooperate with each other to curb smuggling.

Calling for punishing smugglers and drug dealers, the prime minister asked the law ministry to carry out necessary legislation for the purpose without delay.

Affirming no leniency for looters of public money and their facilitators, the prime minister directed taking measures to provide alternative earning opportunities and conducive atmosphere to the youths living in the frontier regions.

He emphasised swift and effective monitoring of the sale and smuggling of the Afghan Transit Trade goods in the country, and called for a third-party audit of the monitoring system.

The prime minister ordered ensuring complete elimination of sugar smuggling and immediate release of funds to examine the prevalence of drugs consumption at the national level.

The meeting was apprised of the smuggling, misuse of the Afghan Transit Trade, drugs, besides sugar, wheat, fertilizer, petroleum products and illegal weapons. It was told that, after consultation with the stakeholders, a national anti-smuggling strategy was in final stage which would be presented for approval.

Read more: Anti-smuggling drive yields dividends

The meeting was told that the law enforcement agencies raided a godown of smuggling goods a couple of days ago in Mastung and confiscated goods worth over Rs10 billion.

Turkiye ties

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday reiterated the government’s resolve to further strengthen economic relations and trade partnership with Turkiye.

He was talking to a delegation of the Turkish investors which called him here at the Prime Minister Office.

The Turkish investors, expressing confidence in the leadership of the prime minister, took keen interest in investing in Pakistan’s diverse areas.

The prime minister said the people of Pakistan and Turkiye had a long-standing brotherly relationship spanning centuries.

He said reforms had been made in the system to take full advantage of the potential of foreign investment in Pakistan.

Ambassador of Turkiye to Pakistan Mehmet Pacaci, CEO Terminal YAPI Cenk Coskun and other Turkish and Pakistani officials participated in the meeting.

The delegation thanked the prime minister for the warm welcome.



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