The Number of Drug Addicts Reached Seven Millions In Pakistan

Photo by Ms D. Meanor / Flickr

The Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control (SSCINC) was given a briefing about drug addicts in Pakistan on Monday that reveled approximately seven million people in the country going through addiction, whereas the number of people dying daily due to drug related complications is over 700.

Senator Rehman Malik who presided over the committee, was told the steps undertaken by the Narcotics Control Division for the wellbeing of drug addicts. The director general (DG) of Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) Majore Gen Khawar Hanif briefed the chairman of committee.

During the committee briefing, ANF DG told the members that there’s an estimated seven million drug addicts in Pakistan while a shocking three million of those who used medicines with no prescription. Moreover, the ratio of drug-related demises was greater than deaths due to terrorism.  According to the ANF DG, terror may kills over 39 people every day while there are 700 people who die from drug addiction on daily basis.

Since Pakistan had been declared a ‘poppy-free’ country in 2012, the area under poppy promotion in Afghanistan has widen from 7000 hassles to 225,000 hassles. The committee was taken aback with the information of approximately seven million people are drug addicts in Pakistan.

The ANF DG told the senate officials from 32 countries had been served in Pakistan for narcotics control. On the other hand there’s no Pakistani officials had served out of the country for the purpose except in Iran.

The committee members learned about ANF’s efforts that have been made to welfare the addicts in the country. The organization has four hospitals for addicts’ rehabilitation whereas another is under construction in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. In addition, ANF has 33 approved police stations while 28 out of the total are participating actively.

Furthermore, 106 bunches of criminals involved in drugs activities that also included 13 international gangs were broken this year through drug confiscations costing to 550 million rupees. ANF acted against about in the following year whereas while 426 were put on trial in 2014; 540 in 2013 and 552 in 2012.

According to The ANF DG, major problems affecting the ANF include equipment as well as accommodation. Talking about these problems, Maj Gen Hanif expressed grief for his force getting no direct funds from other resources hence they had to fully depend on the ministry of finance. He said they received scanners from Saudi Arabia that were installed at Wagha border while they were in negotiations with China for provision of equipment.

Following the briefing, Rehman Malik, the Chief of Senate Committee said all media channels should participate in the cause giving over 0.5 percent air time to raising awareness on the devastation of drug addiction. He was of the view that the drug industry had a serious participation in promoting intimidation in the country. On the other hand, the Secretary Narcotics Control Muhammad Ghalib Ali said there were different laws formed to cut the threat of drug trafficking back. However he denied Malik’s opinion over drug industry and terrorism and said, “There was no nexus between terrorism and drug lobbies in Pakistan”.