Customs officer succumbs to injuries six days after being attacked

ISLAMABAD:Deputy Collector, Anti-Smuggling, Model Customs Collectorate of Preventive, Quetta Dr Abdul Qudoos Shaikh laid down his life early morning on Tuesday after struggling for his life for six days.

An outstanding Enforcement officer of the Pakistan Customs Service who while enforcing the writ of the government in the difficult terrain of Baluchistan was ambushed and attacked on the night of July 3, 2019 after seizing a container loaded with high value smuggled goods near Kohlpur, Baluchistan.

A press release issued by the Federal Board of Revenue said that Qudoos Shaikh, on his way back to his Head Quarter office in Quetta was forcibly stopped near Gahi Khan Chowk by two vehicles of armed men, who rammed their jeeps into his official car.

The assailants forcibly pulled him out of his vehicle and brutally assaulted him with SMG butts and then escaped, leaving him critically injured in a pool of blood.

With the officer barely clinging on to his life, he was brought to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) Quetta and then Agha khan Hospital Karachi, and admitted to its Intensive Care Unit, where he succumbed to the injuries and embraced shahadat in the line of duty on.

Pakistan Customs is relentlessly pursuing the cases of officers like Dr. Qudoos Shaikh which will not be in vain especially as the writ of the state is being challenged through such attempts.

“Such is the cost that the Customs Department pays for, in the line of duty, however this often goes unrecognized”, stated a senior Customs Official. Needless to mention that this was not the first attack on Customs officials engaged in Anti-smuggling operations as in the last 3 years, ten officers or officials have lost their lives and dozens were injured. Besides the fatalities, there have been notable instances of staff being kidnapped, especially in Baluchistan and KPK provinces, to browbeat the Customs Department, into submission besides loss and damage to state infrastructure.

However, despite all odds, Pakistan Custom service has always stood tall in the testing times with the sacrifices made by its officers like Dr.Abdul Qudoos.

Chairman FBR, Member Customs (Policy and Operations) and other officers of FBR and its field formations in their messages extended their heartfelt-condolence on the tragic and sad demise and said that customs department salutes the brave officer who laid his life standing against the smugglers.