PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has declared a state of emergency regarding drug traffickingin the province and established a task force to address the issue.

The 19-member body will be headed by Chief Minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur and will comprise the chief secretary, police chief, additional chief secretary (home), administrative secretaries and relevant cabinet members, according to a notification issued by the chief minister’s secretariat on Thursday.

It added that the task force’s major responsibilities included preventing drug supply to educational institutions, hostels and prisons, monitoring misuse of drugs for medical and other scientific purposes, and keeping an eye on the rehabilitation of drug addicts.

The task force will meet every month and submit a report to the chief minister.

On May 13, the provincial government announced the establishment of the Drug Control Room at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat with deputy secretary Dr Adil Ayub being its focal person.

Dr Ayub will coordinate all strategic and tactical progress with all the stakeholders and will compile and submit a concise and comprehensive monthly report to the chief minister, according to a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Secretariat.

The establishment of the drug control room was approved by Chief Minister Ali Amin Khan Gandapur during a meeting he chaired about efforts against drug trafficking.

The meeting also approved a plan of action for the drug-free Peshawar.

The Chief Minister’s Secretariat said that the plan of action would later be implemented in other districts of the province.

On May 30, the chief minister said that the people involved in drug trafficking should be dealt with an iron hand in order to make the provincial capital free from drug addiction.

He issued directions to authorities for utilising modern technology and scanners for effectively preventing the smuggling of drugs.

Published in Dawn, June 21st, 2024

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