Pres­i­dent for cre­at­ing re­gional drug court to fight il­licit trade

The Pak Banker - - Front Page -

IS­LAM­ABAD

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.

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