Minister for SAFRON & Narcotics Control Shehryar Khan Afridi Wednesday said that the federal government is launching a war on illicit drugs is being launched under vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and drug barons and mafia groups protecting drug business would be targeted in the first phase of the campaign.

The Minister expressed these views while addressing the participants of a seminar held here to mark the international day against drugs abuse. Secretary, Ministry of Narcotics Control Mr. Muhammad Amjad Saleemi, Director-General Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Maj-General Arif Malik, diplomats, media personnel, and people from academia were also present on the occasion among others.

Addressing the participants, Minister Shehryar Afridi said that it was unfortunate to note that the past regime didn't take serious steps to eradicate illicit business of drugs.

He said due to ignorant policies, our youth had fallen victim to the menace of drugs. He said the Ministry of Narcotics Control would take along all domestic and international stakeholders to rid the country of the menaces of drug.

The Minister said that Pakistan would adopt successful models of the world on eradication of drug menace, employing modern research and technology tools to help block the movement of drugs. He said the government would also introduce institutional reforms besides launching public awareness to curtail the drug abuse.

He said that the government would launch crackdown against drug barons while official found complicit or compromised would be also be taken to task to make a good example out of them.

Shehryar Afridi said that on the other hand, the Government would also focus on rehabilitation of drug victims and would also involve them in sports and other healthy activities, integrating them with mainstream society.

"Pakistan is a blessed country today whose 65 percent population comprises of youth. The government would focus on transformation of our youth. We would focus on skill-building of youngsters so as they could be transformed into productive citizens," said the minister.

He urged the public to help launch crackdown on those involved in drugs business and pass on information to the ANF, Ministry of Narcotics Control and also lodge complaints at the Prime Minister's Portal so that strict action could be taken against the drug mafia.