‘Women traffickers in North Karachi’
KARACHI: Shaheen, daughter of Malik Roshan, a mason living in North Karachi has been mysteriously missing since May 20. Roshan fears that she has been kidnapped by a group involved in women trafficking. Despite plausible reports incriminating a Bengali couple for their involvement in human trafficking and the kidnapping of Shaheen, so far no progress has been made in the case. In an application submitted to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), a copy of which was handed over to The News, Roshan says that his married daughter Shaheen shifted to his house after a heated argument with her in-laws. On May 12, 2008 a Bengali woman named Taju came to his house and inquired if any house was on sale in the area. She came again this time accompanied with a man who introduced himself as Babul inquiring about the houses for sale.
Roshan asked them to wait in his house and went to a person in the locality who was interested in selling the house. Taju found that house expensive but continued to frequent Roshan’s home on the pretext of purchasing a residence in the locality.
However, all of a sudden Roshan’s daughter Shaheen disappeared on May 20. Roshan claims that his suspicion was strengthened when Taju and Babul arranged a conversation with his daughter on a mobile phone a couple of days after her disappearance. Shaheen was crying. Then suddenly somebody snatched the cell phone away from her.
Their connivance in kidnapping was also confirmed when these people assured Roshan that his daughter will return in a couple of days. However, when this did not happen, Roshan lodged an application at the Ajmer Nagri police station. Taju was summoned at the police station and the Station House Officer (SHO) talked to her for two hours privately and then let her go.
Afterwards, Taju’s name was dropped from the application. “Instead of lodging an FIR against the woman, the police officials are now pressurising me to withdraw the case, while Taju openly says that my daughter is with her,” Roshan adds.
According to a report prepared by the HRCP, “We are of the opinion that a gang of criminals involved in women trafficking is operating in this area for the past several years.” The report adds, “Taju and Babul (Bengalis) are involved in human trafficking since December 2006.”
In another letter dated October 20 and addressed to SHO Ajmer Nagri police station, an HRCP official stated that Malik Roshan registered FIR No. 135/08 under Section 496-A, Haqooq–e–Niswan Ordinance and the HRCP would like to know about the progress in the case.
Meanwhile, the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report noted that Pakistan is a source, transit and destination country. It is also a source country for the Middle East, transit point for East Asian countries and Bangladesh and destination point for women from Bangladesh, Myanmar, Afghanistan and Central Asia.