Federal, Sindh join hands to launch crackdowns against drug barons

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Staff Reporter

Karachi

The Federal and Sindh governments on Friday decided to join hands to launch crackdowns against top drug barons to eradicate the menace of drugs from Sindh.
Chief Minister Sindh Dr Murad Ali Shah and Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Shehryar Khan Afridi jointly chaired a meeting here attended by all federal and provincial forces and agencies responsible for choking down illicit businesses of drugs.
Addressing the meeting, Shehryar Afridi said that the Ministry of Narcotics Control is fighting for our future generations.
‘Pakistan’s strategic location is key as 85 percent drugs are produced in Afghanistan. We are effectively working to ensure to plug the Narcotics movement at borders along Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces. All agencies are working to block the movement of synthetic drugs through Iran borders,’ he said.
Afridi urged Sindh government to work with federal agencies jointly to fight this menace. ‘Sindh Regional Directorate of Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) needs Sindh government support, joint strategy for crackdown against top drug barons. Rather than arresting drug addicts we need to shift focus on drug peddlers and drug dealers,’ he added.
The Minister said we have a zero tolerance against drugs menace and we need support from all state agencies. ‘Educational institutions are being targeted by drug dealers. Police role is key in this regard. We need to cut arteries of supplies of drugs as demand is rising now. We also need to work on launching a cohesive awareness campaign as most of parents and even students don’t know about synthetic drugs. Elite schools are being specially targeted. Innovative ways are being adopted to supply drugs. Teachers also need to play their role,’ he added.
Afridi said that the Ministry of Narcotics Control is going to launch a mobile phone application called Zindagi to make people aware of all sorts of drugs.
He said the ministry has also launched a global data bank of criminals involved in narcotics trade and money laundering updates data from 250 sources globally. ‘Regulatory framework for rehabilitation centres is also very important. Ministry of health may develop one section as drug rehabilitation in each and every hospital. Provincial governments have a lead role in this regard. We are also planning to introduce oral drugs to avoid injectable as injections in use of drugs are leading to spread of HIV, Hepatitis and other diseases.
We need to work as a team as the challenge is huge. It’s about our future generations’. CM Sindh Dr Murad Ali Shah urged ANF to make cooperation with Sindh government so as its agencies could benefit from ministry’s international data bank on criminals involved in crimes related to drugs and money laundering.
He said Sindh government would engage the ANF with its anti-narcotics operations to launch crackdowns against drug barons.

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