ISLAMABAD - Senior Joint Secretary Ministry of Narcotics Control Sabino Sikandar Jalal on Friday called for collective efforts and creating more awareness among the masses for curbing the menace of drugs from society.

Addressing as chief guest a seminar titled “Control of drug abuse and narcotics smuggling” organized by Information Service Academy, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting here he said that information officers could play an important role in fighting this scourge by highlighting the issue in the media.

He said that the sale of illicit drugs has become the most profitable business in the world and advanced countries have been spending billions of dollars to control them.

The senior joint secretary said that unfortunately opium was grown in a land-locked neighbouring country and over 40 per cent of its produce was smuggled from Pakistan as a transit route to European countries.

In this regard, 35 agencies including police and rangers have been given powers to control drug smuggling through Pakistan and curb its sale in the country.

He appreciated the efforts of information officers of the Information Group who gave their presentations on the narcotics problem.

Executive Director of APP Syeda Adila Rubab Kazmi who attended the seminar as external evaluator for evaluating the presentations of the contestants and announced the names of the winning team and individual winners.

She congratulated the successful participants and urged them to always quote verified figures in their speeches.

Director General Information Academy Saeed Javed said that information officers as media managers of the future need to know facts about the scourge of drugs in the society. He thanked the chief guest and congratulated the participants who won first three positions in the contest.