Senate directs Housing Ministry to work on less-developed areas

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Wants more job opportunities to check human trafficking

Islamabad—Meanwhile, Senate Functional Committee on Problems of Less Developed Areas on Friday directed the Ministry of Housing and Works to initiate development projects for less developed areas of the country. The committee meeting chaired by Senator Muhammad Usman Kakar directed the ministry to pay more focus on initiating projects in less developed areas under Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The committee chairman said that people living in less developed areas also deserved to have facilities at par with the developed areas. Earlier, during briefing on performance of the Ministry of Housing and Woks, the committee was informed that several projects were being completed under PSDP and MDGs in different parts of the country. It was informed that the ministry would ensure initiating new projects besides early completion of on-going projects in less developed areas. The committee was informed that the construction work was inprogress on 35 km long Musa Khel-Taunsa road and it would be completed by 2019. It was informed that Habib Construction Company was awarded the contract of the project in 2013, adding, the construction company had been directed for early completion of the project. The committee members asked the ministry of Housing and Works to deploy professional staff at its federal houses in Karachi and Quetta to properly serve the people.
Meanwhile, Senators on Friday underlined the need for taking solid measures to enact effective legislation for curbing illegal border crossing with assistance of human traffickers. They were discussing the adjournment motion by Ateeq Sheikh regarding illegal border crossing by Pakistan citizens with assistance of human traffickers, leading to severe consequences.
Speaking on the occasion Ateeq Sheikh said according to reports that 300 agents of human traffickers were still operating in the country, alluring youth to jobs aboard while travelling on bogus travel documents where they had to face a number of hardships.
He said passport and other relevant departments should work hard and act on information as provided by Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which get information from those who were deported from an country. Thus, he said vibrant piece of legislation should be enacted to effectively tackle such challenges.
He said such illegal youth were ditched by those agents and they had to face numerous problems as about 450 Pakistanis were reported in Turkey who did not even had enough money to fly to Pakistan. He opined the government should come forward to provide assistance to such people to bring them back to their homes. Rehman Malik said mostly underemployed people were trapped at the hand of human trafficker agents, adding relevant laws were existing like an Ordinance for illegal immigration, which could be further improved. He said the laws should be made more applicable and stringent in order to bring those involved in this unethical and illegal business could be o justice as it brings name for country. Dr Jehanzeb Jamal Dinni urged the government to take tangible measures and create more job opportunities as most of the youth had to resort to illegal channels to seek job abroad due to unemployment and poverty. He said corruption should be eradicated from all the departments in order to prevent youth from becoming victims to those human traffickers. Usman Kakar said people leave their houses and seek jobs abroad due to unemployment and poverty, adding the government should create more job opportunities to discourage the trend, adding the country’s youth should be given concessions in foreign countries. He was of the view that arresting youth when they were deported, did not resolve issues and they should be given job instead.
Barrister Saif said though immigration ordinance existed but it was toothless document and its post-offence clauses were week, which could be made stringent to effectively tackle the issue. He said that Pakistan had ratified international conventions regarding human trafficking but these were not implemented in letter and spirit, adding the Senate could take notice in this regard.—APP

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