SC directs to curb arms, drugs smuggling in Karachi

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KARACHI: The Supreme Court Thursday directed Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to deal smuggling of weapons and drugs, custom duty evasion and black money with zero tolerance and ensure that all necessary steps are taken to stop menace of duty evasion within seven days. Three-member bench of apex court, headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Jawad S. Khawaja and Justice Gulzar Ahmed, ordered the FBR chairman to present a report containing details of arms and weapons imported through the dealers during the past three years via Karachi ports.

At the outset of hearing, the bench expressed their dissatisfaction over the report submitted by Attorney General Munir A. Malik regarding a joint plan devised by Maritime Security Agency (MSA), Pakistan Coast Guards, Anti Narcotics Force (ANF), Customs and other agencies to block smuggling of illegal arms and drugs in the port city.

The chief justice said it was important to provide protection to all citizens as per the constitutional provisions so they could feel secure in earning their livelihood and participate in socio-economic activities.

He said for good governance and financial development, existence of complete peace was necessary.

The bench observed that serious efforts made by provincial government, police and rangers supported the observations made by the court during the hearing of law and order case.

However, it added that it was too early to record complete satisfaction in favour of police and rangers that they have achieved maximum result to ensure peace in the city.

The court said that efforts made by the law enforcement agencies were commendable, which showed that culprits were not above the law. It was of the opinion that extraordinary measures were required to be made by law enforcement agencies to restore writ of the government without extending any leniency towards culprits.

The chief justice said the campaign for recovery of illicit arms in the city launched by the provincial government had turned out to be fruitless as only few people voluntarily came forward to surrender the weapons.