ISLAMABAD -  The Supreme Court Thursday sought reports from police and human rights organisations about the alleged smuggling of Pakistani women to Afghanistan.

A three-member SC bench, headed by Chief Justice Mian Saqib Nisar, sought the reports while taking up a suo moto case of a woman, who was allegedly kidnapped and sold to an Afghan national by a racket operating in Rawalpindi.

The apex court also appointed senior lawyer Asma Jehangir as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the women trafficking case. The chief justice had taken suo moto notice on a media report that a married woman, identified as Farzana from Rawalpindi, was kidnapped and taken to Afghanistan, while her abductors were demanding Rs300,000 for her return”.

The report said an organised trafficking gang that transported abducted women from Pakistan to Afghanistan was using faked marriage documents.

According to an FIR registered with the airport police on January 1, Arshad Mehmood, the husband of Farzana, said she was kidnapped and taken to Swabi and then smuggled to Afghanistan, where she was sold twice to different persons.

According to the FIR, Mukhtar, a matchmaker by profession, kidnapped Farzana and sold her to the gang members. Justice Nisar said that women smuggling is a dangerous affair. The bench while issuing a notice to the journalist who broke the story directed the police and human rights groups to brief the court about the issue at the next hearing.

Additional Advocate General of Punjab Razak A Mirza told the court that no organised gang existed in the country. The chief justice asked if no smuggling of women was taking place then why such a chaos has been created. Mirza claimed that some local and foreign elements were behind such trafficking to defame the country. The chief justice noted that “the sale and purchase of women are very dangerous”. He said that the court would do whatever it could to curb the menace.

The Punjab’s counsel told the court that an FIR has been registered against Mukhtar. The gang sold Farzana to an Afghan national, telling him that she was single, but when that Afghan national came to know that Farzana was married, he took her to Afghanistan.

The chief justice ordered that efforts should be made to bring Farzana back from Afghanistan.

According to the media report, innumerable women from Pakistan were sold to Afghanistan by the gang through fake marriage deeds. It also states the gang has sold many Pakistani girls in Afghanistan or Afghan girls in Pakistan, to old villagers through fake Nikkah solemnised by a Nikkah registrar for Rs5,000.