ISLAMABAD - Minister of State for Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi Wednesday stood by his earlier statement about the “positive” use of cocaine and other drugs to manufacture medicines and said that the practice was followed by all developed countries.

While responding to the criticism he is facing for the last few days after his remarks made in public about usage of drugs for medicine, the minister said that India had earned $22 billion in foreign exchange by exporting those medicines that were manufactured through drug seed.

All the seized drugs could be used to make organic medicines for homoeopathy, and allopathy, he said while talking to reporters after attending a gathering held in connection with the Kashmir Solidarity Day in Rawalpindi.

Some days back, a video of the minister had gone viral on social media in which he could be heard while addressing a public gathering in far off Tirah valley of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that the state burned tones of drugs recovered every year while these could be used to produce medicines.

He had also claimed that a factory was being built on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan where drug seeds would be used to make medicines.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan has a vision to take proactive initiatives and use every resources — even the ones that are an affliction — which have a positive utility,” said the minister.

He also said that there was an English saying that “Nothing is good or bad, it is the thinking that makes it so.” 

He alleged that the people whose minds were full of negativity would keep on presenting even good things as negative.

He said that though poppy is not being cultivated in Pakistan since 2001, it could be still found in neighbouring Afghanistan and Tirah is a border region of the landlocked country where he was speaking.

In areas where all resources are available, the drugs can be utilized in a positive way to make medicines, said Afridi.