Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Brig (R) Ijaz Ahmad Shah addressed the Central Drug Burning Ceremony as Chief Guest. He said that war against drugs is one of the biggest challenges that we are facing right now. He reinforced the fact that our youth's future is at stake due to increased consumption of drugs. He said that it is not an individual battle, it is more like a national cause and each one of us has to play an individual role to ensure that we can create a drug free society. Talking in perspective of his own experience, he highlighted that he has worked as Regional Director Anti Narcotics Force 26 years ago and congratulated DG ANF on arranging such good ceremony where people could gather and collectively address the cause.
The Minister highlighted that Pakistan is a victim state since its geographical position makes it one of the ways for drug smugglers to conduct their activities. He said that drug smuggling has become an increased challenge and we are actively working on all fronts to combat it. He further raised a point saying that it is alarming that around 10 million are reportedly consuming drugs. Highlighting the factor that there are only 3 to 4 thousand personnel of ANF to cater 22 crore people. He said that it is important to realize that all segments of the society have to come together and play their role to eliminate this menace from society.
Ijaz Shah said that it is ironic that people who are booked under naroctics consumption wave victory signs on their hearings in courts. He said that this government is the first one in the history to formulate an anti Narcotics policy. The policy will work on three tiers, Federal, Provincial and District level. He further elaborated that the primary purpose is to ensure that drug free society can be created for our future generations.
The Federal Minister emphasized on the fact that the real culprit is the supplier not the consumer. He said that the people who fall prey to drugs should be treated as patients and he said to the DG ANF that more focus should be on getting hold of the suppliers.
Ijaz Ahmad Shah announced opening of a rehabilitation centre in Islamabad soon and said that this area has been previously neglected, so we intend to work more in this regard. 18 metric tonnes of confiscated drugs worth of billion dollars were burnt during the ceremony.
DG ANF Major General Ghulam Shabbir Narejo also addressed the ceremony. Celebrities including Jamal Shah, Shahzad Roy and others graced the occasion. A number of Foreign dignitaries were also present at the drug burning ceremony.