Lahore: Spurred by the twin crises of rising inflation and unemployment, a large number of Pakistanis are crossing borders through illegal channels, often falling prey to a thriving racket of smugglers exploiting their poverty, a media report said.
For many people fleeing poverty, getting across the borders requires them to pay huge sums and even their lives, with transnational smugglers squeezing them to pay more than 500,000 PKR, said the report by The Express Tribune.
Trekking through mountainous terrains and no-man’s-lands to avoid arrests, most of these young men endure a gruelling journey to the ‘promised land’ of Europe, grasping for an economic lifeline as jobs dry up in their country.
But theirs is a failed journey, often resulting in more suffering as gangs lurk in darkness for potential victims, The Express Tribune report said.
While many are nabbed at the borders of Iran and Turkey, which have become transit countries for illegal migrants, and deported to Pakistan, others walk themselves into death after authorities in Greece use disproportionate force to push them back toward Turkey.
Greek security forces on the border with Turkey are also using dangerous green lasers to deter migrants and refugees from crossing.
Once detected by the radars, many refugees are thrown into panic and lose their life in their vain attempts to escape.
Smugglers take advantage of desperate people willing to take risks in search of a better life when they cannot access legal channels of migration.
As many families find themselves almost famishing, greedy smugglers salivate over the misery to feed their dark business.
Sources privy to the surging murky business of human trafficking told The Express Tribune that many greedy agents in Punjab’s districts such as Wazirabad, Gujrat, Hafizabad, Sialkot, Lala Musa and Jhelum are sending many innocent people, who are unaware of the dangers of the routes, to European countries via Iran and Turkey.