Interim prime minister Kakar takes tough stance against smuggling in high-level meeting.

Interim Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, on Friday, issued firm directives to customs authorities and law enforcement agencies, urging them to take stringent measures to combat the smuggling of various goods, including sugar, petroleum products, urea, agricultural items, and more.

Chairing a high-level meeting focused on curbing smuggling in Pakistan, Kakar received a comprehensive briefing on the prevailing smuggling situation, particularly in border areas across the country, and the steps undertaken to address this issue.

During the meeting, it was revealed that ten additional checkpoints manned by law enforcement agencies had been established in Balochistan to tackle smuggling.

The prime minister emphasized the need for an inter-agency report to identify officers involved in smuggling in the province. He called for swift departmental actions and exemplary punishments for any such officers found guilty of engaging in smuggling activities.

Kakar pointed out that smuggling of petroleum products was not only diminishing revenue but also exerting pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves. He announced his intention to hold weekly meetings to review institutional performance and curb smuggling effectively.

Additionally, he stressed the importance of enhancing the viability of border markets with Iran to facilitate legitimate trade with proper documentation.

Highlighting the significant economic losses caused by smuggling, Kakar emphasized the urgency of addressing this issue and its detrimental impact on the national economy.

The prime minister was informed that due to the relentless efforts of law enforcement institutions, smuggling had decreased by 40 percent. He was briefed on the strategies employed by these agencies to combat smuggling effectively.

The meeting was attended by interim federal ministers, including Gohar Ejaz (Trade), Sarfraz Ahmed Bugti (Interior), Muhammad Ali (Petroleum), and Advisor to the Prime Minister Ahmed Cheema, along with federal secretaries, the Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue, and senior officials from law enforcement agencies. Chief secretaries of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, as well as the Inspector General of Police, participated in the meeting via video link.