PA panel to probe unchecked contraband supply from Khyber to Peshawar

Published January 26, 2021
A special committee of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly will probe the failure of the law-enforcement agencies to curtail uninterrupted flow of contraband to the provincial capital from Khyber tribal district. — AFP/File
A special committee of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly will probe the failure of the law-enforcement agencies to curtail uninterrupted flow of contraband to the provincial capital from Khyber tribal district. — AFP/File

PESHAWAR: A special committee of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly will probe the failure of the law-enforcement agencies to curtail uninterrupted flow of contraband to the provincial capital from Khyber tribal district and unprecedented surge in the number of addicts across the province.

Fazal Shakoor Khan from the Panel of Chairmen, who presided over the sitting on Monday, directed the special committee comprising both treasury and opposition members to complete inquiry and submit its report to the assembly secretariat within a week.

During question hour, Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Nighat Yasmin Orakzai pointed out that Shakas area of Khyber tribal district, which was adjacent to Peshawar’s Hayatabad Township, had become a safe haven for drug traffickers and that different types of contraband were supplied under the nose of police and other agencies.

During assembly sitting, chair seeks report on matter in a week

She said the law-enforcement agencies stationed in Hayatabad Town had failed to stop the supply of hashish, heroin, ice (crystal meth) and other contraband from Shakas area to Peshawar.

The lawmaker said drug addicts had swarmed various localities of the provincial capital and occupied spaces beneath flyovers and bridges and along railway tracks.

She said ice and hashish were supplied to the hostels of educational institutions.

Ms Orakzai opposed the referring the question to the house’s standing committee on home and tribal affairs and said the committee hadn’t met for the last eight months.

Awami National Party member Waqar Khan, in his supplementary question, said Hayatabad Township had become a den for drug addicts.

He said the local residents were fed up with the situation and the police hadn’t acted to break the drug supply chain.

Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal MPA Inayatullah Khan said different kinds of contraband were supplied from Khyber tribal district and the government should take serious action against traffickers and addicts. Lawmaker Mir Kalam Khan expressed concern about the easy availability of drugs in society and called for action against drug traffickers and abusers across the province.

An official reply said the Frontier Corps stationed in Hayatabad had arrested six drug carriers at check point between Hayatabad and Shakas last year and recovered a small quantity of hashish, ice and liquor from their possession.

It added that the arrested men were handed over to the police afterward.

Local government minister Akbar Ayub asked the chair to constitute a special committee to probe the matter.

He said the government was aware of the issue and the chief minister would chair a meeting of the cabinet in the next few days to discuss the law and order situation in the province and contraband supply.

The minister said the FC didn’t have any role to check the flow of drugs.

Members of the treasury and opposition benches expressed concern about the awful condition of Darul Attfal, the centre for destitute children in Peshawar.

Speaking on a point of order, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf MPA Madiha Nisar said female had been running the centre for 13 years and the facility had allegedly become a ‘child abuse’ centre.

She alleged that children in the centre were subjected to physical and sexual exploitation. The member also said family of the administrator were financial beneficiaries of Darul Attfal and that the government should take notice of the destitute children living there.

Nighat Orakzai and other members also supported the mover and said the Darul Aman, the centre for destitute women, in the province was being misused.

Housing minister Amjad Ali also supported the mover and proposed that a joint committee of the assembly check the affairs of children and women’s centres in the province. The chair said a joint committee should look into the affairs of Darul Attfal and submit reports within a week.

The assembly passed the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Trust (Amendment) Bill, 2021, amid reservations of the opposition about the amended act.

The opposition benches questioned objectives of amendments to the law.

Special assistant to the chief minister on industries Abdul Karim Khan couldn’t explain reasons for amending the act. The sitting was adjourned for an indefinite period.

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2021

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