The ongoing crackdown on petrol and currency smuggling is only taking place due to the conditions created by the IMF and their insistence that we take action against smuggling. One of the conditions of our most recent bailout was to expand the state’s revenue net, making the government more sensitive about losses due to smuggling. I think it’s a shame that our rulers need external prodding in order to enforce our own laws and cannot do so of their own initiative, despite the smuggling issue being repeatedly highlighted in the nation’s media and independent economists warning of the toll it was taking on the economy.
It is unthinkable that the government leaders and the institutions responsible for overseeing orderly conduct of trade and economic activities were somehow not aware of just how serious this problem was.
Shaista Anwar Kirmani