PESHAWAR: The excise, taxation and anti-narcotics department has planned to create a special wing to seize drugs and investigate and prosecute their dealers by restricting the role of the Anti-Narcotics Force and police on the control of narcotics substances.
It has drafted a bill for the purpose, which is likely to be tabled in the provincial assembly’s session beginning today (Tuesday) for approval.
The proposed KP Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 2017, will empower the department to seize narcotics substances and prosecute their dealers.
After the passage of the bill by the assembly and subsequent enforcement, the ANF’s jurisdiction against drugs will be restricted to airports and dry ports, which are federal entities in the province, while the police will be allowed only to seize narcotics and hand them over to the excise department’s anti-narcotics wing for case registration, investigation and prosecution.
Dept plans special wing to seize drugs, prosecute their dealers
The relevant officials told Dawn that currently, the excise department could neither register reports on seized drugs nor could it prosecute the cases of narcotics and that it could only seize them before handing over to the police or ANF for further action.
They said the department had already submitted the bill to the secretariat of the KP Assembly after the cabinet’s approval and vetting by the law department of late.
The officials said the bill was likely to be in the assembly during the session beginning today (Tuesday).
They said the proposed law would repeal the federal law, Control of Narcotics Substance Act, 1997, after its passage by the assembly.
The officials claimed that the bill was almost a duplicate of the federal CNSA, 1997, carrying minor changes and inclusion of the newly surfaced drug ‘ice’.
Asked about the reaction of the police and ANF over the clipping of their powers on narcotics control, they said both the agencies had shown reservations about the proposed move with the police making efforts through indirect channels to delay the tabling of the bill in the assembly.
“After the 18th Constitutional Amendment, dealing with narcotics is a provincial subject,” an official of the excise department told Dawn.
The officials said under the bill, a special anti-narcotics force would be established to be headed by a director to be answerable to the director general (excise).
They said the anti-narcotics wing would consist of 500 to 1,000 personnel to be recruited for dealing with narcotics only and that they would not be transferred to other wings of the department like taxation, vehicle registration etc.
The officials said under the proposed law, police stations would be established across the province for controlling narcotics.
They said initially, such police stations would be established at divisional levels that would later be extended to the districts and tehsil levels and that station house officers would lead them.
The officials said a narcotics academy would also be established for providing training to the recruited force in prosecution, investigation, seizure of narcotics and other affairs.
They also said narcotics courts would also be established.
The officials said the establishment of the forensic science laboratories was also part of the plan for the speedy testing of the seized drugs as currently, only a single laboratory operated in Hayatabad, which performed multiple functions.
They said KP would be the first province to establish anti-narcotics wing as other provinces had yet not established them.
The officials said the establishment of such force was under consideration in Punjab and Sindh provinces.
Published in Dawn, September 19th, 2017