National Conference on Counter Narcotics Policy Encompassing Drugs and Precursors Trafficking and Related Border Management
26 November 2013, Islamabad: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, (UNODC) Pakistan organized a National Counter Narcotics Conference in Islamabad. The conference assumed great significance in the backdrop of withdrawal of NATO and ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) from Afghanistan in 2014. Mr. Muhammad Khan Achakzai, the Governor of Balochistan was the chief guest, while Mr. Muhammad Akbar Khan Hoti, Secretary Narcotics Control Division (Ministry of Interior) was the key note speaker. Ambassadors of several European countries, representatives of various embassies and international organizations participated in the day long deliberations revolving around strengthening Pakistan's Law Enforcement Agencies to effectively deal with the surge in Afghan poppy cultivation and resultant increase in narcotics and precursors trafficking from Afghanistan, transiting through Pakistan. Representatives of different Pakistani Law Enforcement Agencies also participated in the conference.
Mr. Cesar Guedes, the Country Representative of UNODC Pakistan in his opening remarks alluded to the increased opium production in Afghanistan and paid rich tributes to the Pakistani law enforcement agencies for their efforts and sacrifices as first line of defence for the world against the menace of drug trafficking. He emphasized the need for international cooperation in meeting the challenges arising out of opium cultivation in Afghanistan, that results in over 90% supply of opiates to rest of the world. He stressed the importance of support from the international community to sustain Pakistan's efforts against this menace.
The Governor Balochistan in his speech, highlighted the fact that the issue of drug trafficking is not a local issue but an International one which has economic interests of the producers and traffickers foremost in this trade. He clearly spoke on the enormity of the drug problem in the country but particularly mentioned its effects on Balochistan. He pointed out Mekran Coast as the long and unguarded coastline extensively being used by the drug traffickers. He stressed on the importance of suitably equipping the national law enforcement agencies and providing alternate livelihood to lure farmers away from poppy cultivation.
The Secretary Narcotics Control Division in his opening remarks, expressed the resolve of the Government of Pakistan in tackling the menace of drugs with full determination. He highlighted the highest seizures of Illicit drugs made by Anti Narcotics Force, as a manifestation of its resolve against drug trafficking. He expressed the Government of Pakistan's determination to cooperate with international community in the fight against narcotics trafficking and pointed out that Pakistan is already extending very meaningful and substantive cooperation in all international conventions dealing with illicit drug trafficking.
The conference ended with recommendations for further enhancing the role of UNODC in providing crucial support to the Government of Pakistan, assisted by the international community.