'All developed countries use drugs to manufacture medicines': Shehryar Afridi stands by statement

Published February 5, 2020
"Nothing is good or bad, it is the thinking that makes it so," says Safron Minister Shehryar Afridi. — Screengrab from video provided by Tahir Naseer
"Nothing is good or bad, it is the thinking that makes it so," says Safron Minister Shehryar Afridi. — Screengrab from video provided by Tahir Naseer

State Minister Shehryar Afridi on Wednesday stood by his comments regarding usage of opium and other drugs to manufacture medicines, saying that the practice was followed by all developed countries.

The Minister for States and Frontier Regions (Safron) and Narcotics Control was responding to criticism over a video of a public gathering in Tirah valley, in which he can be heard saying that the state burned tonnes of drugs recovered every year when they can be used to make medicines.

Also read: High time

He had also announced that a factory was being built on the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan where seized drugs would be used to manufacture medicines.

While talking to reporters on Wednesday, the Safron minister said that India had earned $22 billion by exporting medicines made by drugs.

"All the seized drugs [including] hemp, CBD oil [can be used] to make organic medicine for homoeopathy, allopathy," Afridi said.

He added: "The vision of the prime minister is to take proactive initiatives and use every resource — even the ones that are an affliction — which have a positive utility."

"There is a saying in English: 'Nothing is good or bad, it is the thinking that makes it so.' People whose minds are full of negativity will present even good things as negative."

He said that though poppy seeds are not being grown in Pakistan since 2001, they were still found in Afghanistan, which is near Tirah, where he was speaking.

"But [in areas] where all resources are available, they can be utilised [in a] positive way to make medicines. Maybe the [point] was lost in translation from Pashto."

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