ISLAMABAD: A meeting chaired by Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Mohammad Azam Khan Swati on Monday recommended that all educational institutions in Islamabad should be declared smoke-free zones.

The meeting also recommended that CCTV cameras should be installed in all the educational institutions. Besides, the meeting called for healthcare standard operating procedures (SOPs) for schools, colleges and universities.

There should also be awareness programmes for students and teachers to eliminate the menace of drugs in educational institutions.

The minister, according to a press release, informed the participants that Prime Minister Imran Khan had tasked him with purging the country of the menace of narcotics.

He said 99.9pc drugs were entering Pakistan from Afghanistan, adding the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) has been fighting the smugglers with limited resources. He appreciated ANF’s efforts against drug smugglers and dealers.

He said the ANF seized drugs worth 8.3 billion dollars last month.

Pakistan has become the second largest consumer of narcotics, he said, adding drug dealers had also targeted educational institutions of the country.

ANF Director General Maj Gen Mohammad Arif Malik and Inspector General of Police Islamabad Mohammad Aamir Zulfiqar Khan briefed the participants about the narcotics situation in educational institutions.

They appealed to heads of educational institutions and civil society organisations to coordinate and cooperate with the Ministry of Narcotics Control and law enforcement agencies to exterminate the menace of drugs.

It was also decided that the Ministry of Narcotics Control will constitute a committee for coordination with the law enforcement agencies and educational institutions.

Published in Dawn, September 1st, 2020