ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari has said that Pakistan accords top priority to combating narcotics and is among the three countries of the world in global narcotic seizures through stepped up border surveillance.

In his message on International Drug Day on June 26, the President said the day is a reminder for world leaders, international community, global alliances and associations of the shared responsibility to fight illicit trading and trafficking in drugs through joint collaborative efforts.Zardari said the huge volume of illicit drugs trade and the financial empire created by it continues to haunt the future of the next generations.  He said as a major source of funding of militants and extremists, it has also threatens regional and international peace.

He said because of its cross border ramifications for peace and security, the threat posed by of illicit drugs call for urgent and meaningful trans-boundaries cooperation to neutralise this threat. The international community has also acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan's commitment to combat drug trafficking, he said.

He mentioned that Pakistan had adopted the Anti-Narcotics Policy 2010 and The Drug Control Master Plan 2010-2014 in accordance with international best practices.  He said the government was actively involved with United Nations and other international counter-narcotics partners for a drug-free Pakistan and a drug free world.  He mentioned that with sustained efforts, Pakistan had become a nearly poppy free country.

Zardari called for reiterating the resolve and commitment to collectively fight against illicit drugs and urged the NGOs, civil society, religious leaders and the media to complement government's efforts in fighting illicit drugs for the sake of people and for regional and global peace.

Pakistan being portrayed negatively 

Staff Reporter from Attock adds: Indian Sikh pilgrims who have come to participate in the celebrations of 175th death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh have expressed satisfaction over the arrangements made at Panja Sahib Gurdwara in Hasan Abdal.

They said that people of Pakistan were loving, caring and pay great respect and honour to Sikhs for which they expressed their gratitude. Indian Sikh Gurwara Parbhandak Committee leader Gurwindar Paul Singh, hails from Amritsar, said that Pakistani government had facilitated Sikh pilgrims and had kept gurdwaras in Pakistan in better condition, adding that the regular renovation and maintenance of gurdwaras stood testimony to the fact that minorities in Pakistan enjoyed full religious freedom.

Similarly, Dr Harmeet Singh Kalra from Dharam Pur expressed his satisfaction and expressed his hope for better relations between Pakistan and India.  On the other hand, Chanjeet Kor, Swaran Kanta, Aosha Kapoor and other women Sikh pilgrims told The Nation that they were accorded warm welcome on arrival at Pakistan and were being treated like guests. We feel like at our own home and country, declared Jagender Singh and Amarjeet Singh, adding that they enjoyed full religious freedom and security. They desired that both the countries should have better relations for prosperity and development of both the nations.

They also desired that both the countries should relax visa restrictions so that people of both the countries could able to visit their relatives and sacred places freely. 

They said that Pakistan was a peace-loving country and international media was depicting a negative image intentionally. A lady doctor Sindhu from Hyderabad Sindh, her mother Neno and brother Suraj Lohana also expressed their satisfaction over religious freedom and security in Pakistan.

Earlier, Sikh Yatrees on their arrival at Gurdwara started their rituals, took holy bath, visited Baba Wali Qandahari on hill top near Gurdwara and recited their sacred book Guru Grunt.

Secretary Shrines Khalid Ali and other officer of Evacuee Trust Property Board told The Nation that sikh yatrees had been provided with all facilities free of cost.

On the hand, the police have made foolproof security arrangements for the occasion. Meanwhile, the police arrested a couple Qamar Abbas Kayani and Kalsoom who had posed themselves as reporters and attempted to enter Gurdwara. Cases have been registered against them and both have been sent behind the bars.