Interim Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned to implement “strict” measures to curb smuggling at border crossings to encourage trade via legal channels.
Presiding over a meeting aimed at taking steps to curb smuggling, he emphasized the importance of promoting trade via legal channels. He also directed customs officials to improve surveillance and establish a comprehensive monitoring mechanism at irregular border crossings to prevent smuggling.
During the meeting, the Ministry of Commerce briefed the prime minister on proposed plans to enhance export volume, as well as possible steps to tackle smuggling. The participants also reviewed various procedures and channels of trade under the Afghanistan Transit Trade Agreement.
The meeting occurred a day after the Pakistan Navy, through a joint intelligence-based operation with the Anti-Narcotics Force, seized 9.5 tons of narcotics valued at up to $112 million from a fishing boat. Authorities also seized 10,000 bottles of liquor in the same raid. Last month, customs officials had similarly prevented an attempt to smuggle liquor valued at over Rs. 80 million from Port Qasim into Karachi.
Last week, Pakistan Army Chief of Army Staff Gen. Asim Munir met prominent businessmen in Lahore and Karachi and similarly assured them that steps were being taken to curb smuggling.