ISLAMABAD — Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered the authorities to take measures to “root out” corruption at checkpoints along two key highways linking the port city of Karachi with the border with Afghanistan.
In a memo dated September 4, Khan’s office said that he has been informed by unidentified sources about “rampant rent seeking from goods transport” by members of state agencies and entities including police, customs, coast guard, and paramilitary forces.
It can be “safely presumed” that the money extorted from transporters and traders along the Karachi-Torkham and Karachi-Chaman highways “is shared with upper hierarchy at different levels,” the memo said.
As a result, Khan ordered respective entities to revise and develop operating procedures, reduce the number of checkpoints where possible, and convert those located nearby to be converted into “multi-agency” posts.
The 1,820-kilometer Karachi-Torkham highway is a major north–south artery in Pakistan that extends from Sindh Province’s capital to the border town of Torkham in the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The Karachi-Chaman highway stretches more than 800 kilometers, passing through Quetta in the southwestern province of Balochistan and the border town of Chaman.
Most of the trade between Pakistan and Afghanistan goes through these two routes.