My Editorial for Balochistan Times in Month of May, 2019
Reports about the arrest and possible deportation of as many as 136 Pakistanis who had entered Iran illegally to travel further to Turkey and Europe for a better future circulated in the news headlines lately. This is not the first time that Pakistanis are being arrested by the Iranian security personnel and deported but this happens quite often with no foreseeable end to it. The trend shows a dangerous excitement among the youth of the country who seem discontented with regard to country’s employment opportunities and chances of upward social mobility therein and therefore they risk their lives for a better future by taking to a dangerous journey that often ends up in the unfortunate perishing of these ambitious young men.
The route taken for such illegal immigrations is taken from Balochistan. The coastal belt of Balochistan as well as its hinterland is used for human trafficking activities. It must be brought home to these young men that Balochistan is no easy land to travel especially for youth from other provinces. It is home to active conflicts of various kinds and these young men are prone to falling prey to anyone of these groups. In fact, these young men are mostly from the province of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who risk their lives to travel abroad and unfortunately their journeys end either in Pakistan or Iran at best.
Not only this but this exodus of youth also takes place from Balochistan itself as many young members of Hazara community also take a dangerous land and sea routes to reach to destinations such as Australia and Europe. Given the national and international precarious security situation, such journeys often end up in mass murder of these young men by militant groups active in different regions for their vested interests. Even some physically cannot endure the hardship of such tough journeys and lose their lives in a quest for a dreamland that they seldom reach to.
Despite multiple cases that take place every year replete with heart-wrenching incident, the mafia which is involved in handling these young men is never busted. It seems that the mafia which is making money of this shabby business is so powerful that it eludes the radar of the security apparatus of the federal and provincial governments. Needless to say that it must be an inter-provincial and inter-national gang that is well connected through the modern means of communication. Nonetheless, they never are more powerful than the state itself, and; therefore, state should not spare them in anyway. By the time these lines are being written, news reports about the arrest of a suspected prostitution ring is circulating the headlines of the newspapers. This ring also lures young women from Pakistan for marriage with Chinese Muslim boys who would then entrap them in a gory prostitution business in China. According to reports more than 90 Pakistan young girls had been trafficked to China to date, mostly young girls from underprivileged Muslim and Christian families.
It seems that the human trafficking exists in Pakistan in many forms and innocent young people who are fed up with the hell-like situation at home risk their lives for better future abroad but many a times, they fall in even a worst situation than they experienced at home. The government should proactively look into the incidents of human trafficking taking place across the country and also organise sensitization campaign for the youth regarding the hazards of the journey they are willing to take to risk their lives. Most importantly, the government should create such a conducive environment that is supportive of upward social mobility for the lower and middle class families also. When the youth see their expectations shattered at the altar of corruption, nepotism, social and economic insecurity, they even get ready to risk their lives by taking up such journeys willing or by deceit of mafias who make money of their blood. But, each such incidents speaks volumes about the state that fails the expectations of its youth.