ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party leader Senator Rehman Malik Friday said that Afghanistan was spreading drug cancer in South Asia.

Addressing a news conference here with Aldo Lale-Demoz, Deputy Executive Director United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Malik said that Afghanistan’s government members were involved in drugs trafficking.

“At least 2,00,000 acres of Afghan land is being used for drugs cultivation. How can the government say they are not involved in it,” he asserted.

Earlier, Senator Malik and Lale-Demoz held a meeting to discuss the drug challenges and the Afghan issue.

Lale-Demoz is presently visiting Islamabad to attend a presentation of the Country Programme II. This week, the UNODC presented its $70 million Country Programme II (2016-19) under the title ‘Developing solutions for drugs and related challenges in Pakistan.’

A UNODC statement said under Country Programme II UN Office will help enhance skills and knowledge of law enforcement and criminal justice agencies in overcoming the multi-facet threats posed by transnational organised crime and would foster greater cooperation among neighbouring countries to effectively find common solutions.

Rehman Malik said Afghanistan was misusing Pakistan’s liberal policy towards the neighbours by engaging in drugs trade.

“Pakistan is ready to work with the UN to end this evil trade. We have been supporting the UN in the past also. UN must press Afghanistan to stop the drugs production,” he added.

The PPP leader said India was using Afghanistan’s soil against Pakistan. “It is India-Afghanistan nexus.  India is behind the fresh wave of terrorism,” he maintained.

He said India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi was spitting venom against Pakistan and had been threatening to target this country.

“Modi has nothing for us other than hate. He is using Afghanistan against us. Afghanistan should be sensible and know how important Pakistan is for them,” he added.

Malik said Pakistan needed a strong Foreign Minister who can tackle the issues diplomatically. “We should be able to expose the terror network being run by India and Afghanistan. Jamaatul Ahrar is only a proxy. The main target should be Daesh and the India-sponsored terrorism,” he contended.

He said terrorism was a guerilla war and Pakistan needed to take serious steps to defeat it. “The operation Raddul Fasaad (elimination of mischief) is a good step forward,” he acknowledged.

Malik said the country needed unity in its fight against terrorism for the sake of the future generations. “It we remained polarised, we will not achieve our goals,” he said.

Speaking on the occasion Aldo Lale-Demoz said the UN wanted complete elimination of drugs and narcotics from Pakistan. “I am happy that Pakistan is ready to cooperate to achieve this objective. We want a world free of drugs and crimes,” he said.

Lale-Demoz said Pakistan was itself also making efforts to discourage drugs use and trafficking. “We need to keep it up. The UN is ready to help Pakistan in every way it can,” he added.