SIALKOT: The family of a youth who has been missing in Europe for four months has appealed to the government of Pakistan, Italy and Greece to help it trace their son, expressing fears that he might have been held hostage or killed by a gang of Afghan international human traffickers.
Kotla Qasim Khan-based Syed Kazim Hussain Shah (30) had gone to Greece in 2016 by paying money to some local human traffickers, active in Sialkot and Gujrat regions. After his two-year long stay in Greece, Kazim planned to move to Italy and he and his elder brother, Syed Qasim Hussain Shah, who was in Germany, contacted international human trafficker Bashir Ahmed Wardak of Afghanistan. They struck a deal with Wardak against 600 euros for shifting Kazim from Greece to Italy. However, Kazim never reached Italy. Wardak later told the family he had sent him to Italy about four months back.
Qasim told Dawn from Germany by telephone that the last contact of Kazim with their family in Pakistan occurred on July 1, 2018 when he was in Greece. After that, his mobile phone was switched off while the phone number of Bashir Wardak was also not responding.
Kazim’s family asked from other people, belonging to the Sialkot and Gujrat regions, in Greece and Italy but could not trace him. They are afraid that the international human traffickers might have killed their son during his movement between Greece and Italy. They say the international human traffickers often kill the migrants and snatch money from them in the hilly areas along the international borders of Turkey, Greece and Italy.
Kazim’s father Syed Khadim Hussain Shah, a retired Pak army man, said: “We have been waiting for any good and bad news about our missing son”. He appealed to FIA Divisional Deputy Director Mufakhar Adeel to help him trace his son.
There is a grave concern among the locals regarding the growing human trafficking in Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat, Mandi Bahauddin, Hafizabad and Gujranwala districts.
Published in Dawn, October 15th, 2018