The capture and arrest of a gang involved in illicit kidney extraction and transplant procedures by the Lahore police is both commendable and probing. Over 300 illegal operations, 328 to be exact, are alarming. The fact that people desperate to save their loved ones find themselves at the mercy of such mafias and gangs is lamentable. It makes one question why the legal process of availing a kidney transplant is insufficient and inaccessible, and also why a man who was arrested before managed to continue with this dark business.
It is good to see that the police department is being rewarded for this major crackdown. Not having a good record, the department must be praised for and motivated into more such clampdowns. But the fruit of this effort will be fully materialised when justice is ensured and served. Roaming free and going about business as usual despite being a repeat offender, the suffering of innocent people at the hands of the major culprit named Fawad Mukhtar reveals nothing but an ocean-sized loophole in law enforcement.
Punjab Human Organ Transplant Authority (PHOTA) must rise to the occasion and fill the vacuum in which such gangs flourish. From alarming organ trafficking before and unauthorised operations now, it is high time we pay heed to the problem. Needy people are lured in to donate organs in exchange for money. On the other hand, wealthy clients are ready to go to any extent for their loved ones; often not mindful of the mafias they are feeding. So instead of reporting such illicit activity, they end up supporting it.
For the massive-scale dismantling of such rings, a coherent plan is required. Gangs are often very expansive and operate smartly; hiding and hibernating when crackdown activity picks pace. So to fully root them out, assistance from the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) should be considered. Tracing the network, hunting and arresting those involved, and finally taking them down the lane to legal process and punishments should be the systematic way of putting an end to this illicit activity.