Peshawar-Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has directed a stern crackdown against drug trafficking throughout the province along with working out amendments in the relevant laws to increase punishments and deterrence against people involved in these cases.

While chairing a meeting regarding narcotics control, the chief minister stated that it is reprehensible to see drug abuse on the rise among the youth despite the existence of police and narcotics forces. He directed to root out the menace at the source along with increasing patrolling on routes used for drug smuggling.

Mahmood Khan clarified that it is the collective responsibility of all to remain vigilant against those who are attempting to destroy the future of our children and ultimately the nation. He directed the concerned authorities to work on amendments to the relevant laws to increase punishments and ensure imprisonment of those involved in drug trafficking, adding that the proposals should be finalized and presented before the next cabinet meeting. In this regard, it was directed that legal amendments be made to ensure certainty of punishments instead of merely increasing them to ensure effective deterrence.

The chief minister also directed for reactivation of the Narcotics Eradication Team to tighten the noose around drug traffickers and effectively carry out actions against drug traffickers on intelligence-based information. He further directed the relevant authorities to put in place a vibrant monitoring system at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat and district level to regularly monitor the actions against narcotics traffickers and peddlers.

Mahmood Khan said that all relevant departments will have to work out of the box to cope with the menace of drugs and protect our generations.

The chief minister was informed that 1300 drug addicts have been rehabilitated during the recent drug addict rehabilitation campaign in Peshawar. Mahmood Khan directed that the same model be replicated in all divisional headquarters to ensure the availability of rehabilitation facilities throughout the province.

It was also told that 987 accused persons have been arrested and 7,470kgs of hashish, 834kgs of heroin, 526kgs of opium, 245kgs of ice, and 25,249 litres of alcohol have been recovered by Excise & Narcotics Control Department in the last four years. Similarly, 1,500 cases have been registered against persons involved in drug trafficking and the same number of people have been arrested by the police last year.

Inspector General Police Muazzam Jah Ansari,   CCPO Peshawar Ijaz Khan, Commissioner Peshawar Division Riaz Mehsud and other senior officials attended the meeting.