RAWALPINDI: A staggering 51 tonnes of drugs, including heroin and cocaine, were burnt at a ceremony organised by the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) in Rawalpindi on Thursday.
The narcotics torched at the ceremony, estimated to be worth $239 million, were seized in raids carried out by the ANF and from smugglers at airports in 2016.
At the ceremony, ANF Director-General Maj-Gen Nasir Dilawar Shah said the force has arrested 1,479 smugglers in the last 10 years, 505 of whom have been sentenced.
He said Pakistan has been free of poppy since 2005, adding that in the past decade 298 tons of narcotics worth $896m have been set on fire.
He said drugs were being produced and smuggled in Pakistan from Afghanistan.
Curbing drugs smuggling at Pakistan’s western border is a “great challenge for security institutions”, he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister of State for Interior and Narcotics Control Balighur Rehman said the drugs being burnt today were seized after “a lot of struggle”.
He said curbing the drug business was hard work for the country, “but ANF is performing this difficult task”.