Sat, 09 Dec 2023

Islamabad [Pakistan], September 24 (ANI): Pakistan bureau for combating narcotics smuggling and use has recently confiscated a 49 kg drug consignment and foiled an attempt to smuggle crystal meth to Australia, media reports said.

Drug abuse is taking a heavy toll on the youth in Pakistan, especially students, and fuelling a life of addiction and crime. This latest Thursday crackdown on drugs led to failed attempts by the smugglers to smuggle the drug in Australia via a local carrier company located on Shahrah-e-Faisal, the most popular freeway in Karachi, reported Pakistan Observer.

Drug parcel was hidden inside women's and children's clothes, the media portal reported citing an ANF spokesperson.

The Anti-Narcotic Force has filed a case against the smuggler under the anti-narcotics act. This is not an isolated incident as earlier on August 3, the ANF seized three kg of crystal ice from an Afghan national at the Pak-Afghan border in Chaman, Balochistan province.

During a routine checking at the Pak-Afghan border, the meth was seized from an Afghan national named Imaruddin, reported Pakistan Observer.

In this particular case, the accused was trying to smuggle narcotics to Pakistan from Afghanistan via the Chaman border, the Anti-Narcotic Force officials said. A case was registered against the Afghan national under the anti-narcotics act.

In December last year, Pakistan then State Minister of Interior Shahryar Afridi said a survey has shown that a large of students in the Pakistani capital take crystal meth.

Crystal methamphetamine, also called ice, is a drug which consists of colourless crystals of varying sizes and shapes that are used through smoking, and injecting into one's body.

Speaking at a drug awareness event, Afridi said that 75 pc of female students and 45 pc of male students, including from well-known educational institutions, have been found to be taking the drug.

According to the ANF, cannabis has remained very popular among drug users across Karachi making it the second largest city for consuming the drug in the world. The drug scene in various parts of Pakistan is getting complex and fluid.

Till some years ago, policy-makers in Pakistan were concerned about the consumption of mild stimulants by students and out-of-school youth to stay alert and to boost energy, and the use of cannabis and excessive alcohol consumption.

By 2010 the situation changed dramatically with the arrival of cocaine and heroin in the region. These drugs were brought into the region from producing countries and primarily meant for export to large consuming nations in Asia. The situation is grave not only in Islamabad and Karachi but in almost every part of Pakistan, the ANF added.

The major factors behind the increasing rate of drug trafficking in Pakistan are refugees from Afghanistan. Afghanistan is the world's leading producer of cannabis and different types of other substances. There are hundreds of refining labs in Afghanistan, many next along the Pakistan-Afghan border, turning substances into heroin.

Cannabis and heroin flow from Afghanistan to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan from various illegal channels, especially through illegal border crossings. From there these drugs are supplied to different areas of Pakistan by rail, air, and truck.

There are very little treatment options for drug abusers in Pakistan. Those that do exist have come under harsh criticism from advocacy groups including, Human Rights Organisations. State-run centres may appear more like a jail, offer very little, and consist of heavy detoxification, medications, and basic therapies, it said and urged citizens to come together to combat the menace. (ANI)

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