ISLAMABAD: Observing that drug money has been a major source of funding for terrorist activities in the country, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has called for sustained efforts to break the financial backbone of the terrorists.
He was talking to Director General Anti-Narcotics Force Major General Khawar Hanif, who had called on him on Wednesday.
Discussing the drug problem in the region, the minister said that Pakistan was a victim of the drug trade and there was a need to place more emphasis on successes against drug mafias and cartels to rid the region of the scourge of drugs.
He noted that drug use was an evil that threatened the very fabric of society. “The menace of drugs not only threatens the future of our generations but also brings a bad name to the country,” he remarked. He stressed the need to take all possible preventive measures including interdiction, seizures and effective prosecution of drug dealers.
The minister also expressed the hope that the various initiatives being taken by the ANF would boost the morale of the force and enable it to perform its core functions more effectively. He assured the ANF chief of all possible support for overcoming the challenges it faced in the pursuit of its duties.
General Khawar Hanif briefed the minister on the current situation of drug trafficking in the region as well as on the domestic front and highlighted the ANF’s achievements over the past year. He also informed the minister about new initiatives to curtail the drug trade, as well as ensure the rehabilitation of addicts in the country.
DG ANF briefs interior minister on local, international efforts to rein in drug cartels
The ANF DG said that 2014 was a good year for the force, which busted 93 drug-running operations and arrested their kingpins and peddlers that operated in the country. On the international front, ANF acted against 13 international drug trafficking organisations and seized 260 tons of drugs including heroin, hashish, opium, synthetic drugs and cocaine.
He also apprised the minister of various initiatives being taken to enhance the operational capacity of the ANF and to enable it to meet the emergent challenges. He said that ANF has worked out a new plan in line with government policy, adding that efforts were afoot to strengthen the force’s technical capabilities so it could effectively monitor all entry points including airports, sea ports and land routes and check drug trafficking in an effective manner.
On the rehabilitation of drug addicts, he told the minister that the Karachi Rehabilitation Centre was being expanded and a new rehabilitation centre was being established for drug addicts. So far 4,000 drug addicts have been treated in Rawalpindi, 5,000 in Quetta, 3,000 in Karachi and 2,000 in Adiala Jail, he said.
Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2015