Sindh government and narcotics ministry to launch joint crackdown on drug mafia – Latest News – The Nation
KARACHI – The Sindh government and the Federal Ministry of Narcotics have teamed up to eradicate drugs from society, especially educational institutions, and block the various routes from which drugs are smuggled into Karachi by developing a joint mechanism and deploying the forces concerned.
The Chief Minister approved a working group consisting of the CM himself and the Federal Minister of the Interior to monitor the situation once a month and set up committees with representatives of the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), of Sindh Police and Excise Police to carry out an intelligence based crackdown on drug dealers and paddlers.
These decisions were taken in a meeting held here at CM House which was attended by Sindh Chief Minister (CM) Syed Murad Ali Shah with his team and Federal Narcotics Minister Nawabzada Shahzain Bugti and his team.
Among those attending the meeting are ANF Commander Brigadier Viqar Haider, Major Mohammad Ali and Abdul Salam Khetran. The CM was assisted by its Minister of Education Syed Sardar Shah, Minister of Excise and Narcotics Mukesh Chawla, Minister of Social Affairs Sajid Jokhio, Legal Advisor Murtaza Wahab, IGP Sindh Mushtaq Maher, Addl IGP Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon, IG Prison Kazir Nazir, Excise Secretary, and others.
The Chief Minister said that the use of narcotics was emerging at an alarming rate in our society. “The proliferation of drugs in Pakistan increased after the war in Afghanistan,” he said, citing a survey that said there were an estimated 6.8 million drug users in Pakistan.
“The slums serve as a breeding ground for drug abuse and trafficking,” Shah said and added, “Lyari and Sohrab Goth slums are the main hub of narcotics activity in Karachi.” IGP Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon, who gave a detailed briefing, pointed out that the threat has now penetrated the education system.
He added that both men and women used various narcotic substances in colleges and universities. According to the Addl IGP, there is a close link between narcotics and crime. Most street criminals are drug addicts. Drugs used by addicts include hashish, cannabis, heroin, cocaine, crack, amphetamines, crystal/ICE, ecstasy/barbiturates/benzodiazepines.
22,970 detainees including 346 drug addicts and 22,624 drug traffickers were incarcerated in different prisons in the province
The meeting was informed that narcotics were neither grown nor manufactured in Sindh. Narcotics reach Karachi through four different routes. They come from Baluchistan via Qambar, Larkana, Dadu, Jamshoro to Karachi. Another route departs from Balochistan via Quetta, Sorab, Khuzdar, Wadh, Uthal, Gadani, Hub and then to Karachi. The third route starts from Punjab via Kashmore and reaches Karachi via Shikarpur, Larkana, Dadu and Jamshoro. The fourth route starts from Punjab via Sadiqabad and reaches Karachi via Pano Aqil, Sukkur, Khairpur, Hyderabad, Thatta then on to Karachi. The Chief Minister said that the Sindh Assembly had passed the Narcotic Substances Control (Sindh Amendment) Bill 2021. He added that the new amendment bill has included the use of synthetic drugs as a crime. “It defines narcotics into two categories, Category I includes coca leaf, cannabis and poppy straw while Category II includes cocaine, heroin and all manufactured drugs or any other contraband substance. Another IGP told the meeting that 1,714 narcotics traffickers had been identified, of whom 396 were in jail, 440 on bail and 878 at liberty. IG Prison Qazi Nair told the meeting that 22,970 prisoners including 346 drug addicts and 22,624 drug traffickers have been incarcerated in different prisons in the province. “Out of 346 drug addicts, two are convicted while out of 22,624 drug traffickers, 727 are convicted,” it was revealed.
According to Prison IG, drug addicted inmates are held in separate wards and they are regularly visited by specialists from the health department as well as prison doctors and given appropriate medication. Screening of drug addicts/addicts is carried out regularly and necessary forecasting, treatment therapy is provided to them inside the prison. Rehabilitation measures/efforts are taken by the prison department to reform drug addicts/addicts so that they can get rid of narcotics use and live a normal life after their release from prison. Separate quarters are established inside the prison to separate drug addicts/addicts from the other prison. Strict search/vigilance is carried out to prohibit the entry of narcotics inside the prison and items brought in by inmates and their visitors are thoroughly checked. Prisoners are also physically searched after returning from court production, interview and upon admission.
The meeting was informed that the provincial government has installed baggage screening machines at Karachi Central Jail, Hyderabad Central Jail and Sukkur Central Jail. The Chief Minister said his government has established two rehabilitation centres: in Haryana Colony Orangi and Landhi. He added that he has allocated four other buildings for drug rehabilitation centers: Malir Sports and Youth Affairs Development Center, Pak Colony, 100-bed Hospital New Karachi and KMC Leprosy Hospital Manghopir.
“We have a committee to purge our educational institutions, public and private, of drugs but we can clean up the city if the ANF joins us,” he said.
With that, Federal Narcotics Minister Shazain Bugti assured the Chief Minister that the ANF was at the disposal of the provincial government and that we would work together to purge the society of menace and the mafia. The Chief Minister and the Federal Minister for Narcotics have set up a working group under their joint supervision which would meet once a month and which would be informed.
The CM has also formed a joint committee comprised of officials from the Excise and Narcotics Department, Sindh Police and ANF to conduct intelligence-based operations in the province in general and in the city in particular. The committee would be informed by the government of Sindh. The meeting decided that the borders would be sealed and a major operation against the drug mafia would be carried out by Sindh Police, Excise and Narcotics Police and ANF.