QUETTA: Security forces managed to rescue 22 illegal immigrants who were kidnapped from a bus on Makran Coastal Highway near Pasni town of Balochistan amid a row between human smugglers on Wednesday.
“The passengers were on way from Karachi to Gwadar to enter Iran illegally,” Commissioner Makran Division Bashir Bangulzai said adding that the kidnapped people were from various parts of Pakistan.
Officials of the security forces said that these intending immigrants were trying to reach Europe illegally via Iran-Turkey-Greece route.
They said that a bus carrying 22 passengers from Karachi was heading to Gwadar district that borders with Iran – both via land and by sea.
However, as the bus came close to Pasni — around 500km from Karachi — unidentified men riding in two vehicles intercepted it and took away the passengers at gunpoint.
Security In-charge Gwadar Brigadier Shehzad Iftekhar said that two groups of agents of illegal immigrants had a fight and one gang kidnapped others’ clients from the Makran Coastal Highway.
“The army, FC, and Levies forces started a search operation after the incident and recovered the 22 passengers near Bismillah Hotel close to Pasni,” Brigadier Iftikhar said. “A main figure in the gang of kidnappers is under arrest, while the search operation is still going on to arrest the rest of the kidnappers,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 26th, 2015.