KARACHI: Government and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will announce a special package for the family and a gallantry award for the martyred officer Deputy Collector MCC Preventive Quetta Abdul Qudoos Sheikh.
Officers and officials of Pakistan Customs have expressed deep sorrow and grief over the sad demise of Abdul Qudoos, who was martyred in the line of duty.
Customs’ fraternity of Pakistan feels terribly saddened by the untimely loss of a valiant soldier yet at the same time feels proud of having such dedicated officials in its ranks. These are the real soldiers fighting a real war against smugglers and criminal elements.
“This is the time when the Pakistan Customs Service under the umbrella of Federal Board of Revenue should stand firmly and devotedly with all officials of its field formations in letter & spirit. This tragic incident should serve as an eye opener, we as a family owe this to our departed colleague,” Syed Raghib Hussain, President Preventive Service Officers Association said.
A statement released by Pakistan Customs paid tribute to the official and said he passed away “after struggling for his life for six days”.
At least 10 officials connected to anti-smuggling operations have been martyred in the line of duty over the last three years, added the statement.
“Such is the cost that the Customs Department pays for, in the line of duty, however, this often goes unrecognised,” said a senior official of Pakistan Customs.
On July 6, the deputy collector’s vehicle was intercepted and masked men assaulted him while he was returning from a successful raid, seizing smuggled goods near Gahi Khan Chowk.
The deceased was admitted to the Combined Military Hospital in Quetta where he remained in a critical condition.
According to customs officials, the police carried out a raid in the Satellite Town area after they had been tipped off. The suspects identified as Sadiq, Tufaan and Ahmed Shah were taken into custody in connection with the attack on Dr Shaikh.
The officers association of the customs department condemned the attack, labelling the attempt to kill the official a direct challenge to the writ of the state. They also reiterated their departments resolve to continue the ongoing crackdown against smuggling in the country.
Smuggling finds its genesis in Pakistan’s border terrain which spans a distance of 7,888 km, including 1,046 km of coastline. Smuggling, through these western frontiers, has flourished due to high import tariffs and transit trade with Afghanistan.
The Customs department has shown outstanding results in 2018-19, successfully seizing smuggled goods and currency valuing Rs.31.07 billion and collecting revenues of Rs.1,748 billion.