Top 10 suppliers identified and kept in confinement; three categories of suppliers identified for targeting them; Sindh CM, Fed Narcotics Minister agree to chalk out plan for eliminating drug trafficking
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Shahzain Bugti have agreed to work together to control drug proliferation that started in Pakistan after the Afghan war and establish more rehabilitation centers in the province.
This decision was taken in a meeting held between the two here at the CM House on Tuesday. The CM was assisted by provincial ministers, Sardar Shah, Mukesh Chawla, Sajidd Jokhio, Advisor Aijaz Jakhrani, Parliamentary Secretary Qasim Soomro, Chief Secretary Sohail Rajput, IG Police Ghulam Nabi Memon, and Additional IG Karachi Javed Odho. The federal minister was accompanied by Federal Secretary Narcotics Control Ms. Humaira Ahmed, DG ANF Maj Gen Aneeq Rahman, Force Commander ANF Brig Waqar Rizwi, Col Pervaiz, and others.
The meeting observed that drug proliferation started in Pakistan after the Afghan war. The slum areas of Karachi, in the East and South Zones, were the hub of narcotics activities but after successful anti-gang war operations in Lyari drug menace has come down substantially.
It was pointed out that the menace has penetrated educational institutions and both young boys and girls in colleges and universities were getting addicted to new synthetic drugs as well as cocaine.
The meeting was told that there was strong nexus between narcotics and organized crime. Most of the street criminals were narcotics addicts.
The chief minister said that narcotics were neither cultivated nor manufactured in or around Karachi but it reached here through major routes connecting Sindh with Balochistan and the Punjab.
Shah said that therefore he has taken three important steps to eradicate the menace of narcotics. They include strengthening legislation, the operation against peddlers, and rehabilitation of drug addicts.
CM said that the amendments were made in the Control of Narcotics Substance Act (CNSA) 1997 and were notified in 2019 under which the recovered heroin and ICE was reduced to 150g for attracting 6/9/C (if the quantity of narcotic drug category and, psychotropic substance or controlled substance exceeds the limit specified in clause) and enhanced overall punishments and specified minimum punishment. He added that the legislation has been further strengthened with the passage of CSNA, 2022.
The IG Police told the meeting that the Karachi police have registered 1623 cases in 2023 and arrested 2152 and recovered 32.956 kg heroin, 1264.18 kg hashish, 22.766 kg Ice, 6.132 Crystal, and 9.54 kg opium.
The police department informed the meeting that a list of narcotics peddlers has been finalized with input from IB and Special Branch. The top 10 suppliers were identified and kept in confinement and three categories of suppliers were identified for targeting them.
Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Shahzain Bugti said that his ministry wanted that in every district a rehabilitation center should be established so that addicts could not only be rehabilitated but be brought to the mainstream.
The federal minister was told by the police department that Karachi police with the help of NGOs was providing free of cost drug addiction treatment, rehabilitation, and after care services. The police were running five centers with the assistance of an NGO. These centers were working in Landhi UC-36, Haryana Colony, Gulistan-e-Jauhar, Ismail Shaheed dispensary SITE-A, Rehri Goth, Quaidabad. IG Police told the meeting that so far 4000 drug addicts have been rehabilitated at these five centers.
It was pointed out that Karachi has 17 drug rehabilitation centers being run by different organizations of the government and private sector.
The Anti-Narcotic Force DG DG ANF Maj Gen Aneeq Rahman told the meeting that Benazir Shaheed ANF Model Addicts Treatment & Rehabilitation Center (MATRC) Centers were functioning at Lyari, Sukkur, and Hyderabad and new centers have been established at Malir and Manghopir. He added that Benazir Shaheed ANF MATRC Lyari functioned under City District Govt Karachi from 2002 to 2006 and then the Project of Shaheed Benazir ANF MATRC was established in May 2010 with a facility of 55 beds.
The meeting was told that the female ward of MATRC was established in Feb 2017 with 50 beds. From 2007 to 2016 this hospital was operated by the Sindh government as a general dispensary OPD. It was taken over in 2017. MATRIC Sukkur was established in Oct 2018 with a male facility of 25 beds and MATRC Hyderabad in Sept 2020 with 50 beds.
The meeting decided to continue clean-up operations against the drug smugglers and a strict checking procedure would be adopted at the borders connecting Sindh with Punjab and Baluchistan. (PR)