Alarming surge in drug use in Sindh’s cities catches Murad’s attention

Published November 26, 2019
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday constituted a high-powered task force to control “penetration of narcotics into cities”, educational institutions in particular, to save future generations from the menace. — DawnNewsTV/File
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday constituted a high-powered task force to control “penetration of narcotics into cities”, educational institutions in particular, to save future generations from the menace. — DawnNewsTV/File

KARACHI: Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday constituted a high-powered task force to control “penetration of narcotics into cities”, educational institutions in particular, to save future generations from the menace.

“The drugs’ penetration in schools is quite dangerous and we have to work together to stop it right from the borders to cities to schools,” he added.

The new body, to be called the Chief Minister Task Force on Narcotics Control, would be headed by Mr Shah and comprise of director general of Sindh Rangers, inspector general of police (IGP), excise and health ministers and secretaries, CM’s law adviser, regional director of the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) and provincial heads of intelligence agencies.

The decision was taken at a high-level meeting held here at the CM House. Chief Secretary Mumtaz Shah, ministers Dr Azra Pechuho, Mukesh Kumar Chawla, Murtaza Wahab, Rangers chief Major Gen Omer Ahmed Bukhari, IGP Dr Kaleem Imam, Brigadier Mansoor Ahmed Janjua of the ANF and other senior officials attended it.

Sets up high-powered task force under his command to curb trafficking and to coordinate with administrations of schools, colleges

The meeting, which was held to consider the threat to future generations from an alarming surge in the use of narcotics among youngsters in educational institutions, was told that heroin and cannabis were smuggled here from Afghanistan, cocaine from South Africa, synthesis and ice from China.

The chief minister in consultation with all the agencies decided to constitute three committees under the task force.

One of the committees, to be headed by Maj Gen Bukhari, would conduct surveillance of the interprovincial borders so that drug smuggling to Sindh could be curbed.

The second committee, to be headed by the IGP, would monitor and conduct operations with the support of Rangers and other agencies against drug dealers, peddlers and traffickers in the province.

This committee would coordinate with the administrations of educational institutions to control drug penetration and also take parents into confidence to develop a mechanism to purge the educational institutions of narcotics.

The third committee would be headed by Law Adviser Wahab to strengthen prosecution in narcotics-related cases. The cases registered against drug smugglers and dealers will be prepared with proper attention and expertise so that strong cases could be taken to courts.

Mr Shah directed the chief secretary to notify the task force. He also asked the IGP to prepare tasks for the committees in consultation with Rangers and other agencies to save future generations.

Mr Shah also suggested another committee under the health department to work for rehabilitation of drug addicts in order to bring them back to normal life.

The meeting was informed that the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan was 2,611 kilometres long and there was a need to take strict measures there to stop drug smuggling.

This task was assigned to the ANF to further coordinate with their counterparts in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

The ANF official told the chief minister that Pakistan had been declared a “poppy-free state” in 2001.

Published in Dawn, November 26th, 2019

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