ISLAMABAD - The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) in its annual meeting on Wednesday agreed to take mutual steps for inter-agency cooperation and data sharing to streamline the efforts of all departments to curb human smuggling and trafficking on international as well as inter-provincial level.

The IATF held its annual meeting at the headquarters of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA). Director General FIA Muhammad Tahir Rai chaired the meeting. The agenda of the meeting was ‘Combating human trafficking and human smuggling more effectively with mutual cooperation.’

The meeting was attended by the representatives of more than 25 agencies/ departments including capital and provincial police, Frontier Corps (FC), Rangers, Intelligence Bureau (IB), Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Ministry of Human Rights (MoHR), Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), Directorate General of Immigration and Passport (IMPASS), Bureau of Emigration & Overseas Employment (BE & OE), and social and welfare departments.

The DG FIA emphasised on efforts for crackdown on agents and human smugglers, and digitization of IATF with use of technology for developing a central database.

He stressed on the need to take initiatives for capacity building saying the menace of human trafficking and smuggling damages social fabric of the country and is detrimental to the international image of Pakistan. All members participated in an open discussion on the subject matter in detail.

The FIA chief also raised the importance of coordination, especially considering the issues of internal trafficking and migrant smuggling in the light of the ongoing efforts of the federal government to fight the scourge of internal trafficking, bonded labour and sex trafficking etc.