Saturday, September 23rd, 2017
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The Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control unanimously approved the 'Illegal Dispossession (Amendment) Bill, 2017' and asked the Interior Ministry to submit the amended bill with the committee within 15 days. Minister of State for Interior Balighur Rehman assured the committee that the necessary amendments shall be introduced within given period of 15 days.

The committee was chaired by Senator Abdul Rehman Malik, who expressed concerns over increasing cases of narcotics' recovery from aircrafts of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). He said that these incidents are tarnishing the image of Pakistan at international level. He called for enhancement of the security measures and improvements in the relevant mechanism to avoid such incidents. Discussing the Illegal Dispossession (Amendment) Bill, 2017, Senator Malik said that the bill is incomplete because there should be a minimum limit of compulsory punishment. The bill was referred to the Senate after getting passed by the National Assembly on March 28, 2017.

The committee has taken serious notice of the continuous recovery of narcotics from PIA airplanes first at Heathrow Airport London and then at Benazir Bhutto Airport Islamabad and had directed the ministry and concerned departments to brief the committee.

The senior joint secretary Narcotics Division briefed the committee that the matter was under investigation and the findings shall be shared with the committee after its conclusion. He said that the Prime Minister has already ordered formation of an inquiry committee to investigate the matter.

Rehman Malik said that he and the committee appreciate the Prime Minister's move of formation of committee. However, the committee demands thorough investigation into the matter. He said whosoever is found involved, must be punished as per law. Malik said that such organised crimes are not possible without involvement of the airport officials. Therefore, he said that the representatives from PIA and CIA should be present in the next committee meeting.

Malik said that as per his information, a drug mafia consisting of officials from different agencies is involved in this heinous crime. He said that drugs are placed in the panel of the plane.

The ANF official endorsed Malik who said that drug was planted in the rare kitchen of the plane. Malik highly appreciated the timely action taken by ANF. He asked if any inquiry had been initiated or not and, if not, FIA must investigate the case thoroughly so that the real culprits must be identified and punished.

As the committee had asked FIA for a briefing on the issue of arrest of Afghan girls at Benazir Bhutto Airport Islamabad, Director FIA Dr Mazharul Haq Kakakhel briefed the committee. He said that due to timely and prompt action by FIA officials, the Afghan girls who were to travel on forged documents were arrested at the airport.

Dr Mazhar said that the case was investigated thoroughly by a capable team under his own supervision and all those who were involved in this case of human smuggling were arrested. He said that unfortunately two senior officials of PIA were found involved and arrested.

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