ISLAMABAD -  The Supreme Court on Thursday directed the Federal Investigation Agency chief and the Balochistan government to submit a detailed report on the recent killings in Turbat.

A three-member bench, headed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, heard the suo motu case regarding the killings of 20 people in Turbat, Buleda and Kech. The victims hailed from different districts of Punjab and were brought to Balochistan by human traffickers to send them to Iran illegally.

The chief justice questioned what the agencies, particularly FIA, were doing to stop human trafficking. He remarked whether such incidents were a matter of pride for the agencies.

The chief justice said: “What is the role of the FIA? Why are such incidents happening? Why are the agencies unaware of them? Can anyone guess the agony through which the families who receive bullet-riddled-bodies pass?

The FIA director general, the chief secretary and the Balochistan advocate general appeared before the bench and filed reports.

FIA DG Bashir Memon informed the court that due to limited resources, they could not control incidents of human trafficking. He said Turbat killings had sectarian and terror links and not a human smuggling episode. The FIA DG said despite limited resources, the agency had taken action and sent human smugglers to jail after arresting them.

The chief justice remarked that in his opinion, the FIA DG had solution to the human trafficking problem. “The suspects who have been arrested and sent to jail will be released on bail,” he remarked. 

The chief justice said they could not remain silent just because the FIA lacked resources. He asked the FIA DG to give assurance that such incidents would not take place in the future. “Preventing a crime before it is committed is a real skill,” the judge remarked.

The Balochistan chief secretary told the court that extremists had been confined to two districts in the province due to action by the agencies. “The killings happened in the same districts,” he said.

At least 15 bullet-riddled bodies were found by the Levies in Balochistan’s Kech district on November 15 and five more on November 18 near the same area.

The victims belonged to Mandi Bahauddin, Sialkot and other parts of Punjab. They were trying to illegally reach Iran and then Turkey to enter Greece in search of employment.

The case was adjourned until the first week of February 2018.

A large number of people from Punjab and other parts of Pakistan attempt to sneak into Iran illegally on their way to Greece and other European countries in search of better jobs.

The Kech district is considered to be one of the sensitive districts in the province. Militants in the area have repeatedly attacked labourers, security forces and pro-government politicians in the area.