LAHORE - Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Azam Khan Swati on Thursday stressed the need for eliminating drug abuse in order to save social values, humanity in general and in particular youth of the country. He said that all segments of the society including advocates, educationists and particularly youth should come forward to crush this menace, adding that it was a big challenge to fight against this evil, while saying “the youth being the ambassador of the country should make their efforts for completely weeding out the menace”. He expressed these views while addressing the launching ceremony of ‘Drug free campus’ organized by the Government College University (GCU) in collaboration with Ministry of Narcotics Control here at GCU. Azam Khan Swati said that rehabilitation centres, awareness and overcoming of social issues including poverty were primary steps to be taken in most effective manner for modifying the overall behaviour of any society and media should play its role in creating awareness among people about harsh consequences of drug abuse. The Minister appreciated the efforts of GCU for declaring GCU drug free campus and its overall arrangements for drug eradication and said that GCU was the first institute which created anti- drug society, adding that such measures would help in complete eradication of this menace.

He said that during July 2019 to July 2020, about 252 accused in serious cases related to narcotics were convicted by the courts, adding that more than 3,000 kg heroin was also seized by the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) during the period. The Minister said that he had requested the Supreme Court to look into the grave matter and the Chief Justice of Supreme Court constituted a five member bench to interpret laws, and bindings/ protocols pertaining to drug abuse,he said. ANF Punjab Commander Brig. Rashid Minhas, GCU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi, MPAs, members of faculty and others also spoke on the occasion. Later, talking to media, Azam Khan Swati said that when he assumed charge of his ministry it was considered to be a challenge in a sensitive situation but he accepted the challenge to make the country drug free. To a question he said that Prime Minister Imran Khan, Parliament and Law Enforcement Agencies were strongly committed to root the menace of drug abuse.

To a question, the minister said that about 46 percent of Pakistan’s area comprised Balochistan’s territories so it was a difficult task to protect the coastline with only 492 personnel of ANF. 

He added that drugs were smuggled to into Pakistan from Afghanistan but the government was effectively taking action against those involved in drugs related activities despite its limited resources.