Begging rackets

Pakistan News 0 Comment 3

Pakistani authorities have lived for some time now with the shame that some of its more unscrupulous nationals are involved in begging rackets abroad, most notably Saudi Arabia. To Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal’s credit the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been moved against Pakistani beggars who are suspected to be a part of large rings operated in several countries. The task of uncovering the beggars and stopping them from travelling abroad is a challenging one and it will require dexterous handling since it involves the cooperation of foreign governments. But the job has to be done well if Pakistan and other South Asian countries want to rebuild their tarnished image in countries where such begging rings operate. Begging is not an uncommon sight on the outskirts of certain Gulf cities and sadly many South Asians are part of it.

Not all members engaged in the racket abroad are habitual beggars. Many of them dream of landing a job in the oil-rich Gulf states and human smugglers are only too happy to promise them the same — without actually delivering. Within weeks, these job seekers find no other alternative to begging. There is also a growing link between begging rings and other criminal activities. The FIA would do well if it can draw up effective measures against elements involved in fuelling extremism and feeding criminal syndicates with mercenary-minded foot-soldiers.

It is refreshing that the interior minister has adopted a realistic stance on the issue of people smuggling. The FIA itself has to be purged of those individuals who abet criminal elements and facilitate the transfer of begging ring members abroad. The FIA needs to be rebuilt into a modern and robust institution whose work will closely serve the interests of Pakistan. For this to happen, the agency has to be equipped with the latest tools and its officials trained in better and more sophisticated technologies.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2017.

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The post Begging rackets appeared first on The Express Tribune.

Source: Tribune News | Begging rackets

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