By: SHAHID RAO
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (IHC) Monday directed the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to submit its reply after registration of a case against an alleged racket of women traffickers involved in forcing the girls into sex trade.
A single bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui issued these directions in a petition of Zunaira who moved the court against a Faisalabad-based racket of women traffickers.
During the hearing, Qaiser Masud, deputy director (law) of FIA, who was present in court premises to appear before the court in some other matter, put appearance before Justice Siddiqui on the court’s call.
The court noted in its verdict, “Instead of issuance of notices, he is directed to put the version of FIA in writing, regarding the facts after the registration of case and reasons on the basis of which the arrest of accused persons has not been affected as yet.”
Talking to The Nation, Zulfiqar Ahmad Bhutta Advocate said that they contended before the court that FIA failed to take effective measures to arrest the accused involved in the case. He said that FIA registered FIR of the matter on January 01 but the investigation officer of the case could not arrest the accused yet.
Earlier, the petitioner Zunaira had filed the petition through her counsel Zulfiqar Ahmad Bhutta Advocate and informed the court about her tale of becoming a commercial sex worker in Dubai.
The counsel informed that Zunaira and her sister Shaista started working as housemaids in the house of Aisha, wife of Ashfaq, four years ago. He added that after sometime owners of the house started convincing both the sisters to go abroad with them at Dubai where they had been running a beauty parlour. The petitioner told the court that the accused asked them to work at their beauty parlour and they arranged their travelling documents and took them along to Dubai.
“At the time of their departure both the girls were 15 and 16 years of age but the accused persons managed to prepare documents where the girls were shown elder than their real age,” told Bhutta. He added that in Dubai the accused had been running brothels and used to supply girls to different hotels. These two girls were also forced into sex trade, and upon their protest, accused persons threatened them that they would involve their parents in serious crimes with the help of Pakistani police. From time to time petitioner and her sister protested against the accused but they were always beaten up brutally.
Zunaira stated that every year the accused persons used to send one of the sisters back home to visit their parents and keep the other sister with them as a hostage and all this continued for four years and after that they managed to succeed in coming back together to Pakistan.
She said that after their arrival in Pakistan they informed all the facts to their parents and refused to go back to Dubai. Then, enraged accused attacked both the sisters and their parents and fired four bullets at the petitioner’s leg.
After this, the petitioner lodged an FIR with Ghulam Muhammadabad police station, Faisalabad, on June 09, 2013. The petitioner alleged that police also helped the accused and tempered some parts of the FIR. The petitioner family was then pressurised to accept the offer for compromise and the matter was then settled down against Rs 0.8 million.
The petitioner said that after the settlement, the accused started threatening the petitioners and then they took shelter in Sonia Naz Human Rights Organisation Centre at Faisalabad. The chairperson of the said organisation, Sonia Naz, lodged a human trafficking complaint with the FIA that started its proceedings in a traditional languid manner.
She said that the accused had been carrying on with the human trafficking; devastating numerous families and immediate action was required by the FIA in collaboration with Interpol.
After issuing the aforementioned directions, the court adjourned the matter till April 14 for further proceedings.