The meeting of Senate Standing Committee on Narcotics Control was held on Monday at Parliament House. The Committee stressed the need for greater coordination between the Federal Machinery and the Provincial agencies to check increase in narcotics proliferation in Pakistan.
Chairman Committee, Senator Muhammad Shafiq Tareen was of the view that the Federal Government with major agencies within its ambit must be more proactive regarding this issue that threatens Pakistan’s social fabric. It was asserted that incentives and training to deal with related issues must be given to all agencies including Police and Excise Department so that they may provide supporting mechanisms to Federal agencies. Greater Coordination between all Federal and Provincial agencies regardless was stressed. Budgetary Allocations and its utilization 2019-20 as well as recruitments were also reviewed.
Members attending the meeting were Senator Lt. Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum, Senator Rana Maqbool Ahmed, Senator Nauman Wazir Khattak, Senator Seemee Ezdi, Senator Aurangzeb Khan, Senator Haji Momin Khan Afridi, Senator Muhammad Sabir Shah and senior officers from the Ministry of Narcotics Control, Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) along with all concerned.
While consideration of the Point of Public Importance on overall deterioration in society and lack of responsibility shown by the government raised by Senator Muhammad Sabir Shah it was revealed that the main issue confronted by ANF was deficient human resource. Lack of coordination between agencies was a major contributing factor as well. To curb the spread of drugs in Pakistan it was asserted that all agencies Federal/Provincial own this issue as a national calamity and work towards ending it. In addition to this, effective laws, good governance and strictest punishments were other ways to stop this menace. It was asserted that in addition to campuses, narcotics were being supplied openly in recreational areas as well.
Discussing the medicinal qualities of Industrial Hemp, the Committee was informed that given the large quantities in which the plant grows naturally in Pakistan, ANF is consulting with research institutions such as ICCBS to make it more useful. The Committee was of the view that national level conference must be held to see how growth of Hemp can be regulated and utilized in Pakistan.
It was asserted that public awareness campaigns at large are needed to ensure that every home is made aware of the negative aspects of this menace. Installation of advanced gadgets in ANF vehicles was recommended. The Committee proposed that loopholes in existing laws must be plugged to ensure perpetrator conviction. Strengthening prosecution is key to ensure conviction rates; imperative to control narcotics proliferation in Pakistan. The Committee stressed the need for ANF to be made part of the Fair Trial Act.
The Committee directed that all Federal and Provincial agencies and certain research organizations be summoned in the next meeting.