On the third day of proceedings on the Karachi law and order case, the Supreme Court on Thursday ordered customs authorities to submit details of weapons shipments into the country in the last three months.
The court also directed heads of the Federal Board of Revenue, the Anti-Narcotics Force, Pakistan Coast Guards, the Maritime Security Agency, police and Rangers to work out a new plan for an operation against the smuggling of arms and drugs, and tax evasion.
At the outset of the hearing, AGP Munir A Malik submitted a blueprint of the plan against drugs and arms smuggling that the court had ordered the federal and provincial LEAs to work out a day earlier.
Rejecting the proposal, the chief justice remarked that all the agencies concerned had failed to cite a future plan of action and directed the AG to hold another meeting with the concerned department heads.
Taking strong notice of the relaxed attitude, the bench cautioned FBR chief Tariq Bajwa that a detrimental order would be passed against those departments which were drifting from their responsibilities.
The CJ remarked that the chiefs of key institutions were worried about losing their jobs. “They are concerned about losing their jobs,” he said while referring to the heads of five institutions and agencies, who failed to divulge information about those involved in smuggling of arms and drugs despite repeated queries.
The bench then ordered FBR and the customs departments to submit a comprehensive report about the arms and ammunitions shipments that arrived in the country along with their quantity, consignees’ details and valuation of tax duties on them.
The bench also ordered FBR to file a report on how many of the 19,000 containers containing weapons had gone missing.
The court also reminded Anti-Narcotics Force Director General Maj Gen Malik Zafar Iqbal that although there was no provision for the appointment of the army officers to the ANF, the force still recruited army personnel for better results, which his force was failing at.
The bench observed that the ANF DG was too scared to name the two major dens operating in the city – in Sohrab Goth and Yousuf Goth – where smuggled weapons and drugs were sold openly without any check by customs and ANF.
“The country will be saved, if Karachi is saved. Otherwise, we can kiss goodbye to the citizens,” remarked Justice Jawwad Khawaja.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 1st, 2013.