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Security Personnel to Face Court Martial for Smuggling


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In a significant development, Interim Interior Minister Sarfaraz Bugti has announced stern measures against security personnel involved in cross-border smuggling activities. The declaration came during a press conference in Islamabad, where he emphasized that those found complicit in smuggling operations would not only face court martial but also arrests.

The interim government had recently initiated a widespread crackdown on smugglers, hoarders, and illegal immigrants, concurrently offering cash rewards to citizens providing information related to these illicit activities. Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar had issued directives to curb smuggling activities, including those related to sugar, petroleum products, urea, agricultural commodities, and other essential goods.

During the press conference, Minister Bugti acknowledged the connection between border security forces and smuggling operations, stating, “If I say that border security forces weren’t involved in [smuggling], it won’t be right as the [smuggled] items are transported via trucks.”

Bugti further emphasized that Pakistan’s army chief had explicitly communicated to the concerned authorities that court-martial and incarcerations awaited those found complicit in such activities. He clarified that the internal accountability processes within the military were not publicly disclosed but cited the military’s accountability measures in response to the violence on May 9.

The press conference also touched upon the escalating issue of terrorism in the country. Minister Bugti revealed that several apex committee meetings were underway to tackle this grave concern. He assured the public that significant changes would be observed in the days to come.

The statement comes as Pakistan grapples with recent deadly bombings in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Notably, a suicide blast in Balochistan’s Mastung resulted in over 50 casualties, while a bomb attack targeting a police station’s mosque in Hangu, KP, claimed five lives.

In response to a question, the interior minister stated that investigations into these terror incidents were ongoing. He mentioned that previous incidents in Balochistan had exposed the involvement of India’s RAW, and investigations into the recent Mastung bombing would reveal executioners and sympathizers.

Bugti underscored the government’s unwavering commitment to eradicating terrorism and emphasized that Pakistan was resolute in removing all terrorists. He stated that any attempts to impose an agenda through force would not succeed, emphasizing that the Constitution would prevail.

He also acknowledged that while recent attacks were not entirely unexpected due to Pakistan’s decision to become a “hardened state,” the response would be resolute. The minister praised the capacity of Pakistan’s security forces, asserting that the enemy’s capabilities were limited.

Bugti called for unity in society, advocating for an end to divisions. He vowed to continue the difficult but not impossible fight against terrorism. Regarding poll security, Minister Bugti asserted the government’s responsibility and mentioned ongoing discussions with the Election Commission of Pakistan.

Addressing the return of PML-N leader Nawaz Sharif, who is expected to land in Pakistan after four years, Bugti characterized it as “encouraging.” He clarified that his earlier statement regarding Nawaz’s potential arrest was misconstrued by the PML-N.

Nawaz Sharif left the country in 2019 on medical grounds following his conviction in corruption cases. The cases remain sub-judice. Bugti emphasized that all citizens would be treated according to the law.

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