Islamabad: Mr. Jeremy Douglas, Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Pakistan called on the Advisor to Prime Minister on Human Rights, Mr. Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar on 21st February at his office. In the meeting, issues related to drugs trade, human trafficking and cross cutting issues of human rights were discussed in detailed and a way forward was also suggested.
The Advisor stressed on the need to work with renewed will to tackle human rights situation arising out due to rise in drugs trade. While mentioning the mandate of the Ministry, he expressed the resolve to review the existing laws regarding drugs trade and harmonizing existing legislation, regulations and practices with the international human rights covenants and agreements to which Pakistan is a party and monitoring their implementations. He further suggested forming a committee which could take upon the task of reviewing existing laws and suggesting new ones.
The Committee would be tasked to complete its task not in months but in couple of weeks. The Advisor while mentioning the lacunas in the existing laws said that there is a dire need to treat the narcotics users not as violators of narcotics law but also victims and he urged for proper laws for the rehabilitation of drug victims.
The Advisor briefed him about other international commitments of Pakistan such as Preparation of Universal Periodic Report (UPR), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Convention Against Torture (CAT), Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) etc.
The Advisor also told Mr. Jeremy Douglas that the Ministry was soon putting into place a mechanism through which all inmates in prisons would be screened through medical checkups for hepatitis and HIV aids. The Advisor also appreciated the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for the positive work in Pakistan.
Mr. Jeremy Douglas, Representative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) while appreciating the efforts of the Advisor offered the Ministry technical and financial support for legislation regarding drugs trade, human trafficking and preventive detention. He assured the Advisor of his continued support and cooperation for human rights issues in Pakistan.
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