Islamabad, June 28, 2013 (PPI-OT): To commemorate the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, a Drug Burning Ceremony by Anti Narcotics Force was held on 26th June 2013 at Islamabad. Director General Anti Narcotics Force Major General Malik Zafar Iqbal, high ranking officials from Law Enforcement Agencies, Civil administration, Diplomats, Drug Liaison Officers of number of countries, Media representatives, social workers and representatives of NGOs were also present on the occasion.
While addressing the gathering, Director General Anti Narcotics Force Major General Malik Zafar Iqbal, the chief guest of ceremony, reiterated the commitment of Government of Pakistan, Ministry of Interior and Narcotics Control, Narcotics Control Division and Anti Narcotics Force to fight against the menace of drugs.
Major General Malik Zafar Iqbal said that Drug Burning Ceremony held on 26th June is in relation with “International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking”, and main aim of celebrating this day in an organized manner is to create public awareness on dangers of drug abuse, and highlight efforts being put in by Law Enforcement Agencies all over the country in fight against drugs.
He stated that Pakistan is fully aware of its harmfulness and we are determined to clean our country from this menace. Especially we are committed to keep our youth which is our future, away from drug abuse. Fight against drugs is a shared responsibility both globally and domestically; therefore we need definite cooperation of international community and whole nation, under the guidance and assistance of Federal and Provincial governments. Also, drugs free Pakistan is only possible with joint cooperation of each citizen of Pakistan.
Major General Malik Zafar Iqbal said that ANF is the leading Anti Narcotics Law Enforcement Agency of Pakistan, which is though small in size and is facing many challenges, yet it executes the assigned mission with full commitment, dedication, and conviction.
He said that ANF remains cognizant of its responsibility to counter the drug menace through a three-pronged strategy i.e. drug supply reduction, through invigorated and strengthened law enforcement; drug demand reduction, through accelerated initiatives like creating mass awareness and community participation; and international cooperation. Since its inception in 1995, ANF has been able to achieve major breakthroughs in combating the menace of drugs at national, regional and international levels.
Growth of poppy in Pakistan has been drastically reduced over the years by ANF with the assistance of other LEAs and international donors. Through concerted efforts, we have been able to eradicate major portion of poppy cultivated in the country. Resultantly, we have achieved the status of poppy free state as per standards of UNODC.
This aspect has been greatly admired at various international forums. Unfortunately, strict drug enforcement measures in the country have been offset by huge increase in poppy cultivation in Afghanistan during recent years. This has resulted in increased trafficking of opiates from Afghanistan into Pakistan and beyond.
The threat of drugs is enormous and Law Enforcement Agencies need complete need of society. Therefore, inculcating awareness amongst the General Public to reduce the Demand of Drugs coupled with provision of Free Treatment and Rehabilitation facilities have been a priority of ANF. Besides undertaking many awareness ventures, ANF runs 3 Model Addiction Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre (MATRCs), where free of cost treatment is given. Since 2004, over 10000 (ten thousand) patients have been treated.
He mentioned that due to relentless efforts made by ANF field tentacles all over the country, the year 2013 is going to be a record breaking year in terms of drugs seizures. During first six months; 2840 Kgs Heroin, 81295 Kgs Hashish, 4776 Kgs Opium, 104043 Kgs HCl/ Acetic Anhydride, 676 Kgs Morphine, 2750x Ecstasy tabs and 3.2 Kgs Cocaine has been seized till date.
During 2013, ANF has made biggest seizures of its history i.e. 1096 Kgs Heroin seized at Balochistan in single operation, 103563 Kgs mixture of HCl and Acetic Anhydride (precursor chemicals) seized at Peshawar in single operation and 81295 Kgs Hashish seized in first six months. Today, approximately 121 tons of narcotics are being destroyed at four different cities of Pakistan including Quetta, Karachi, Lahore and here, which includes 10911 Kgs Heroin, 83457 Kgs Hashish, 26453 Kgs Opium and few other types of intoxicants and drugs. Ceremony ended with the promise to continue the relentless efforts with full devotion and dedication against the drug barons and the curse of drugs.
For more information, Contact:
Anti Narcotics Task Force (ANTF)
Minister for Narcotics Control