Travel agents demand exposing govt officials involved in human smuggling


KARACHI: Travel Agents’ Association of Pakistan (TAAP) and Pakistan Overseas Employment Promoters Association (POEPA) on Monday condemned alleged harassment and arrest of many travel agents and confiscation of their passports by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA).

Addressing a press conference at Karachi Press Club, TAAP Sindh and Balochistan’s Vice Chairman Mohammad Nadeem Sharif said that uncalled for arrests and harassments of travel agents over allegation of human smuggling is unfair. He said many people illegally cross borders but the travel agents who provide facilities to people travelling on genuine visa to go abroad or seek political asylum are harassed.

He said conducting raids, torturing staff and breaking cameras in travel agents offices in Multan is condemnable.

Sharif warned that the concern authorities should take into consideration the difference between the officially licensed travel agencies and the culprits involved in the human smuggling. He said FIA should focus its energy to find and punish the real culprit rather than penalizing the innocent and genuine agents.

He said that the government should also take notice that why the government officials involved in sending those aboard who have been deported due to illegal stay are not being probed and why these officials who facilitate the human smugglers are left unpunished.

The associations demanded of the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan for immediate intervention to stop the arrests of license holding taxpaying travel agents who are help generating huge revenue in shape of taxes.

TAAP and POEPA also took out a rally from TAAP office to Karachi Press Club and demanded the government to take a notice of harassment and arrest of travel agents and refrains FIA officials of misusing powers. They demanded to release arrested travel agents.