Police unit to fight drug abuse

LAHORE: Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Amin Wains has established an Anti-Narcotics Unit (ANU) to fight the menace of drug use.

The step was announced at a conference titled ‘Drug Free Lahore’ held at CCPO office on Tuesday to bring all stakeholders together in the fight against narcotics.

The ANU comprises 39 sub-committees headed by a superintendent of police (SP). A circle officer will head a sub-committee of the unit and work in coordination with Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), educational institutions, excise and taxation department and Lahore district and sessions judge.

Every circle officer will have to submit a weekly progress report to the ANU SP who will present a monthly report to the CCPO. The ANU will also submit investigation reports of the first information reports registered against drug peddlers in courts as early as possible.

Addressing the conference, the CCPO said that they intended to bring all the stakeholders fighting drugs on one forum and build coordination among them. Drug addiction among the youth was increasing at an alarming rate and there was a need to take action on emergency basis to fight it, he added.

He said there was a need for coordinated efforts by all stakeholders to defeat the elements that had pushed future generations towards the menace. He also decided to conduct monthly meetings with the district and sessions judge to review progress.

All educational institutes will appoint a focal person to coordinate with police on drug use on campuses. Police will seek their help in pointing out students and suppliers of drugs on the premises. ANF, excise department and police will also share information and conduct joint operations to nab drug dealers in the city.

ANF Punjab Commander Brig Khalid Mahmood said 83 per cent of narcotics were being produced in Afghanistan and 40 per cent of them were smuggled through Pakistan. They were working against drug dealers and also tracing drug trafficking networks, limiting smuggling, trafficking and distribution of narcotics in the country and ensuring strict control of chemical movements.

He further said that ANF’s action was not limited to seizing but also bringing people to justice, adding that he appreciated efforts of Lahore police in bringing all stakeholders together by holding the conference.

Punjab Higher Education Commission Chairman Dr Nizamuddin said teachers and students were needed to be sensitised about narcotics. The rate at which drug addiction was increasing in educational institutes was alarming and stern action was needed against it.

Additional Sessions Judge Mirza Shahid Baig said the judiciary was also playing its effective role in countering drugs and drug dealers were awarded strict punishments.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Operations Dr Haider Ashraf, DIG Security Moin Masood, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Operations Athar Ismail, SSP (Admin) Rana Ayaz Saleem, ANF court special judge Masood Arshad, Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) Headquarters intelligence wing commandant Col Faiz Bhatti, LUMS Director retired Col Amir Khan, Punjab University Law College Principal Sami Aziz Khan, Lahore Grammar School Principal Major Jawad, Forman Christian College Director retired Col Rana Khaqan Mehmood, Welfare Organisation Chairman Zafar Iqbal Mian and other members of civil society were also present on the occasion.

(Daily Dawn)

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News Date: 
Wednesday, July 19, 2017