ISLAMABAD - Like other parts of the globe, International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking observed Thursday with commitment to fight against narcotics and create awareness among masses about this menace.
Several activities were arranged across the country including twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi by the Narcotics Control Division, Anti Narcotics Force, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes and NGOs etc.
This day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1987. This day serves as a reminder of the goals agreed to by Member States of creating an international society free of drug abuse.
Federal Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, in his message, said the day reminds us of our moral duty to save our near and dear ones from the curse of narcotics drugs. "This day also gives us a message to join hands with each other against this social evil which is gradually destroying our youth," he added.
Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) Islamabad-Rawalpindi region organised a week-long awareness campaign against drug abuse in connection with the World Anti Narcotics Day.
During this campaign, a series of lectures for the students of various educational institutions in twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi was arranged for creating awareness among youth.
Narcotics Control Division Secretary Akbar Khan Hoti said, unfortunately, Pakistan was being used as transit country and the drug barons were using most difficult routes besides adopting unconventional methods of narcotics smuggling.
Khan expressed these views as chief guest while addressing the drug burning ceremony held under the supervision of Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) at DHA Valley, Islamabad Thursday to commemorate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
He appreciated devoted efforts of the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) in war against drug abuse and its eradication. High ranking military officers, ANF officers, officers belonging to various law enforcement agencies, bureaucrats, drug liaison officers from different embassies, media reps, social workers and reps of NGOs were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the gathering, Hoti said the smugglers and drug barons had made Pakistan a way of drug smuggling. He said ANF had been countering the difficult situation with dedication and commitment.
"Today's ceremony gives a clear message to the drug barons that ANF will not allow them to use this territory for their heinous activity. We firmly adhere to the commitment of the government for eradication of drug abuse, no matter how much sacrifice we may have to render," the secretary added.
ANF DG Major General Khawar Hanif said that Pakistan was facing multi faceted problems which rendered the task of ANF extremely difficult. Pakistan was located in the neighborhood of Afghanistan, which was major contributor to the world requirements of opiates, producing 70 per cent of the world opiates, a significant portion of which was transmitted through Pakistan, making it a transit and victim country as well.
“Despite challenging and complex environment, the ANF has made major breakthroughs in combating the menace of drugs at national, regional and international level in a short span of time,” he said.
The DG added that ANF's achievements of drug seizures were commendable at national, regional and international level. According to UN Drug Report, in 2013, Pakistan held top international position in narcotic drug seizures.
ANF has burnt 136.68 tons of narcotics to ashes which include 1523.478kg heroin, 97560.971kg Charas, 25188.066kg opium and 1452.280kg morphine approximately worth US $ 800.25 million in international market.
In Lakki Marwat, a local sports organisation Ihsan Martial Arts Centre organised a walk Thursday to mark the day.
A social activist Muhammad Tahir led the walk, which started from Town Hall and culminated at main bus stand. Players, students and people from different walks of life attended the walk.
A local JI leader Sabz Ali Naveed said the use of drugs posed serious health threat to people of all ages especially youth. "There is a dire need to save our children from tobacco and use of narcotics," he maintained.
He told that Islam had declared the use of narcotics Haram (illegal), therefore we should keep ourselves away from the menace. He asked the government to implement relevant laws in letter and spirit to eradicate drug abuse.