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ISLAMABD: A joint operation was launched against narcotics dens and drug peddlers in two villages located on the outskirt of the capital city on Friday evening.

The Counter-Terrorism Force (CTF) and the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) were participating in the operation.

The operation in the Doray and Athal villages would continue till Saturday morning, said a police officer.

Counter-Terrorism Force and ANF officials taking part in operation which will continue till Saturday morning, officer says

Senior Superintendent of Police (operations) Waqaruddin Syed told Dawn that all resources were being utilised to eliminate narcotics dens and peddling in the villages.

“Dens and drug peddlers have already been identified and the large-scale operation is being conducted to recover drugs and arrest the peddlers and smugglers,” he added.

The SSP said the police had changed their tactics and started the operation late in the evening. In the past, such operations were routinely conducted in the morning, he added.

Both the villages are surrounded by the police and will remain cordoned off till the completion of the operation, the SSP said.

Other spots in the capital, where dens were established and drug peddling continued, have been identified and similar operations would be conducted their too.

Such spots are raided during the operation by the police and ANF officials while search for drugs is carried out with the help of K-9 dogs.

The SSP said charas, ice, heroin and opium were being recovered from the villages during the ongoing operation.

Earlier, well-equipped officials of the ANF and police, including all the four zonal superintendents and subdivisional police officers, gathered at the Police Lines Headquarters where teams were constituted for the operation, said the police.

Later, they reached the two villages simultaneously and cordoned off the area. Pickets were also established on roads leading to the two villages to check attempts by the suspects to escape or transport drugs out of the area.

In Sept 2013, villagers in Doray lynched two policemen - an assistant sub-inspector and a constable - when they reached there after receiving a complaint against a drug peddler.

Another police officer said over 60pc of villagers in Doray had been involved in drug trafficking for over three generations. He said the police received regular bribe from the criminals and did not take action against them.

Besides drug trafficking, the village has long been notorious for harbouring criminals from different parts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the officer claimed.

He said before the partition of the subcontinent, the village used to be a stopover for drug smugglers. The other village, Athal, also emerged as a den of drugs during the last a couple of decades. A large number of people from different parts of the country were helped by the locals settle in the village, he added.

Published in Dawn, January 12th, 2019