Islamabad, August 26, 2015 (PPI-OT): On 26th Aug 2015, ANF hosted a conference at Best Western Hotel, Islamabad to formulate joint mechanism against narcotics and drug abuse in Academic Institutions. The purpose of the conference was to devise a mutual framework in collaboration with educational institutions to protect the youth from the menace of drugs. The conference was chaired by DG ANF Major General Khawar Hanif and attended by International Partners, NCD, Ministry of Health, Federal Directorate of Education, Heads / Representatives of Universities, Medical Colleges, Leading School Systems, Academic Institutions, Psychologists and Psychiatrists.
In his opening address, DG ANF welcomed all the participants and highlighted importance of the forum in implementing the vision of “Drug Free Society” since the educators play the most important role in children’s’ lives as mentors, and cumulatively nation builders. He said that the magnitude of drugs as a threat to human security is far more serious than meets the eye. Drugs are silently killing far people than terrorism and rendering millions useless to the society; youth being most vulnerable to this menace.
Drug abuse exacerbates juvenile crime rates and fosters low educational achievements. Government efforts alone cannot address drug-spread in educational institutions, as it is basically a societal setback emerged from feeble social-bond, fuelled by peer pressure, low self-esteem, stress, frustration, curiosity and communal surrounds.
Further he told that drug threat to students can effectively be addressed by dedicated and involved faculty, since students respond more to teachers than parents. He expressed that; there is a dire need to devise a workable cogent strategy to counter narcotics prevalence, which is creeping gradually in and around our academic institutions. He emphasized that whole nation approach is inevitable for success in this challenging venture.
Thereafter Force Commander North Brigadier Muhammad Ramzan Gill presented an Overview of the prevalent Drug Environment. The presentation was followed by discussion on agenda points of conference, which mainly focused on devising joint mechanism, areas of cooperation, reasons of addiction, remedial measures, effective control and nomination of focal persons.
The participants proffered a number of invaluable suggestions that included; declaring educational institutions as smoke-free zone, incorporate security cameras for addict profiling, employ psychiatrist / psychologist in institutions, confidential sharing of information with ANF, organize mentors training drug-workshops, launching drug-awareness campaigns in institutions, strengthen student-teacher, student-parents and teacher-parents bonds, incorporate drug-awareness lessons in curriculum, provide extra-curricular opportunities for students, ensure playgrounds / sports for students, medical screening of suspected students, role of student literary societies in anti-drug campaigns, inward vigilance of educational institutions and ANF support to address external drug threat in institutions.
Later part of the conference focused on discussion for adoption of a consented mechanism. It mainly homed on constituting a committee from amongst the representatives, to mutually formulate a workable plan, within whose parameters educational institutions can evolve their respective policies. Furthermore, emphasis was laid for nomination of Focal Persons from every institution.
Force Commander North, Brigadier Muhammad Ramzan Gill was appointed as focal person of ANF. All the participants were requested to carry out due consideration and communicate names of Committee Members and Focal Persons to ANF. He also expressed is expectation from international partners for support and capacity building in this regard.
DG ANF Major General Khawar Hanif in his concluding remarks thanked all the participants for their valuable contributions during discussion. He affirmed ANF’s commitment to render all possible help to educational institutions, relentlessly pursue dismantling of all Drug Trafficking Organizations operating in and around educational institutions and to leave no stone unturned in protecting our society from the menace of drugs.
For more information, contact:
Anti Narcotics Task Force (ANTF)
Minister for Narcotics Control