NEW YORK: Pakistan has urged the international community to ‘do more” to counter the menace of narcotics in all its forms arguing that this was possible through ‘better coordination and cooperation’ between the member countries.
Speaking in the Special Session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly on the world drug problem, Minister for Interior and Narcotics Control, Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said that Pakistan has put in place a robust and comprehensive legal policy and administrative framework to counter the scourge of illicit drugs.
Chaudhry Nisar is leading a seven member delegation to the UN to represent Pakistan at the 3-day UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem. The Session is being attended by several Heads of State and Government as well as over 50 Ministers.
‘We take pride in saving the world from over 1.86 Billion narcotics doses in the last three years’, the Minister told the world body. Last year, he said, ‘We seized over 342 tons of illicit drugs’, and added that being the top contributors in international seizures beyond its territorial borders, Pakistan contributed to almost 25 tons of illicit drugs seizures around the world. “Drug Demand Reduction, treatment and rehabilitation are high on our priority”, he said.
The Minister told the world body that because of Pakistan’s geographical location the country is confronted with multifaceted challenges exposing it to being the prime victim and transit country for a major portion of global opiates and cannabis.
Arguing that no two countries and no two regions have a similar environment, the Minister said, “We believe that Drug Dynamics in producing countries, transit countries and target countries are diverse. Therefore there are no ‘one size fit all’ solutions”.
Chaudhry Nisar expressed concern over the emerging trends in some parts of the world to legalize the use of illicit drugs saying that this would give a fillip to drug demand thus igniting the supply chain, which will have a direct fallout on our region.
Furthermore, he said, the concepts lacking consensus, like harm reduction and the so- called human rights based approach are likely to further complicate the issue.
He affirmed that, “We have all been endeavouring to build a drug free society not a drug tolerant society”.
The Minister said that Pakistan expects greater focus on the prime target and transit countries in terms of mustering resources for the capacity building of the frontline states in the war against narcotic drugs, commensurate to the threat they are confronted with and proportionate to their core contributions to the cause.
He urged that the existing UN Drug Control Conventions should be treated as a repository of core guiding principles for developing an international counter drug approach.
He concluded by saying that what the world community decides to adopt in the coming days will help to determine the future of global efforts to save our succeeding generations from the scourge of narcotic drugs.