President for creating regional drug court to fight illicit trade
President Asif Zardari Tuesday called for creating a regional mechanism for the exchange of information and coordination and to establish a drug court in the region to fight illicit drug trade.
He proposed that the concerned offices should maintain real time contact, like a hotline amongst the heads of narcotics control agencies, for better coordination in dealing with illicit drug trafficking.
Addressing the inaugural session of Regional Ministerial Conference on Counter Narcotics here at Aiwan-e-Sadr, the President said that merchants of death do not recognize any boundaries – political, geographical, ethical, or legal—and were destroying the youth, no matter what passport they possess.
The President said that efforts against nacro-trade cannot succeed unless we succeed together. “We will conquer the heroin trade only through collective action” the President said.
He said that heroin trade does not flourish in vacuum. It is linked with the terrorist networks in our region. The President said that the money from the heroin trade is used to finance terror operations.
According to the UN, he said, the opium production has increased by over 3000 percent in the last decade and the revenues from heroin trade have also been steadily rising during the past decade. But, the President continued, the problem is much older and goes farther back in history, farther than 2001.
He said that it goes back to choices we made during the decades of 70s and 80s. That was the time, he said, when heroin was created as a war weapon by the world community to fight the rival ideology in the region. After the war, the international community left the region in a hurry. Many things of that era have now come back to haunt us. One of these is the heroin trade, the President remarked.
According to prepared text of President’s Speech, he said that illicit drug trade is now challenging our very foundations and poses a serious threat to all countries in the region. He said that drug mafias have a nexus with terrorist organizations and crime syndicates. They are linked with arms smuggling, human trafficking and money-laundering.
The President said that heroin trade has grown across borders and is spreading death and destruction in the name of ideology. “It is threatening the security of our countries”, the President said
He said that drugs trade threatens to destroy the national economies by corrupting legitimate businesses, increasing inflation and destabilizing interest and exchange rates. It undermines good governance by encouraging crime and corruption. It promotes violence, he continued.
The President said that the heroin trade threatens us more than it threatens far-off lands and we must not look toward others for leadership on this issue. Instead of being followers, the President said, we must lead the fight against heroin trade. We must be the one to fight back and we must win this battle. Failure, the President said, is no option.