Human trafficking: SC issues notices to interior secretary, Pindi RPO
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Tuesday issued notices to the interior secretary and Rawalpindi Regional Police Officer in a suo motu case over the alleged trafficking of women in the twin cities.
The SC office has fixed hearings in the case for April 6.
Earlier, Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar on February 24 had taken suo motu notice of an alleged gang of kidnappers who were abducting women from Rawalpindi and Islamabad, trafficking them to Afghanistan where they were allegedly sold in slavery.
The notice was taken based on a news story and a column published on a media platform. The story narrated how a 40-year-old woman* – mother of three – who had been trafficked to Afghanistan. Her husband*, a daily-wager, had received a call from her abductors, who demanded Rs300,000 to release the woman. The poor man could not arrange the money.
Although a kidnapping case had been registered at the Airport Police Station on January 10, the police had admitted that they could not resolve it. The CJP on February 24 instructed the inspectors general of police in Islamabad and Punjab to file their respective responses.
Later, the Punjab police filed a report in the top court stating that there were no organised gangs kidnapping women in Rawalpindi.
The police report stated that a man had told Airport police on January 10 that his wife, who works as a matchmaker, had been missing since December 3, 2016. He added that his wife had gone with a man called Mukhtiar to see a customer. But his wife did not return.
The man added that the searched for his wife and Mukhtiar everywhere but could not trace them. He alleged that Mukhtiar had abducted her wife.
However, on February 16, the man received a phone call from Afghanistan that his wife had been married to an elder by presenting her as unmarried but that this was not true. The caller demanded money from the woman’s husband as ‘marriage expenses’.
The man then approached law enforcement
Later, Rawalpindi Chief Police Officer on March 16 wrote a letter to the Punjab Inspector General of Police, urging him to contact the ministry of foreign affairs to recover the abducted woman.
Meanwhile, Islamabad Police told the apex court that human trafficking fell within the domain of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and that they were providing assistance to the investigation agency to curb this crime.
The report added that Islamabad Police was also working with the NGOs for protecting victims of trafficking such as women and children. Officials added that they had adopted different ways to identify females who had been victims of sex trafficking.
The report added that all SHOs in the capital had been asked to take strict action against anyone who was involved in such a crime.
However, the CJP while going through the reports has decided to fix the matter before the bench for April 6.
Moreover, notices were issued to Attorney General for Pakistan and the Advocate General.
*NAMES WITHHELD TO PROTECT IDENTITY