ISLAMABAD: Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) had conducted 364 drug abuse prevention activities throughout the country during 2017 to aware the masses about hazards of drugs with special focus on educational institutions.
These activities included seminars, lectures, awareness walks, sports events, tableau, essay competitions, free medical camps, advertisements in print & electronic material and distribution of informational material etc.
The statistics issued on Sunday showed that the other initiatives included publication of ANF public service message “Say No to Drugs” on public sector advertisements published in newspapers, inscribing ANF awareness message on Gas consumer bills, inscribing ANF awareness message on inland postal envelopes issued by Pakistan Post, displaying ANF awareness message at Metro Bus Terminals in Lahore and Islamabad/Rawalpindi, inscription of ANF awareness message in NTC regulated telephone bills and printing ANF awareness message on passenger tickets, cargo receipts and publicity cards of Bilal Bus Travel Service.
In addition, Higher Education Commission (HEC) has been asked to issue instructions to all public and private universities for arranging awareness raising programmes in order to create awareness against drug abuse for students, teaching faculty and parents through lectures, seminars, debates, workshops, tableau, drama shows, sports events, cultural events and exhibiting public service warnings at visible spots at universities’ campuses.
Accordingly, HEC has instructed all higher educational institutions to undertake the task. During year 2017, ANF registered 1172 cases, arrested 1338 persons including 27 foreign nationals involved in drug trafficking, seized 164.07 metric tons of drugs and 56.358 metric tons of prohibited chemical while busted nine domestic and one international Drug Trafficking Organizations (DTOs).
The seized drugs comprised 32574.1 Kg Opium, 7132.2 Kg Morphine, 19754.6 Kg Heroin, 102113.193 Kg Hashish, 387.089 Kg Cocaine, 57.07 Kg Cannabis, 1891.517 Kg Amphetamine, 39.937 Kg Methamphetamine, 23.368 Kg Ecstasy Tablets, 14.741 Kg Xanax Tablets, 9.413 Kg Diazepam Tablets, 73.5 Kg Prazolam Tablets, while prohibited chemical include 917.5 Liter Acetic Anhydride, 50594.8 Liter Sulfuric Acid, 4130 Liter Hydrochloric Acid and 715 Liter Acetone.
ANF has also destroyed 385.265 tons of narcotics in total at Islamabad, Lahore, Peshawar, Karachi and Quetta during year 2017.
During year 2017, 884 drug trafficking related cases were decided, out of which 848 cases met conviction, wherein 81 were awarded life imprisonment, 35 rigorous imprisonment exceeding 10 years, 111 rigorous imprisonment ranging 5 to 9 years, while 789 persons were awarded rigorous imprisonment less than 5 years, hence, making 96 per cent successful conviction rate.
ANF has frozen Assets worth Rs 933.448 Million, out of which Rs 21.14 million has been forfeited and Rs 0.582 million realized. In relation treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts, ANF is expanding its Drug Treatment Facility to 178 more beds at Karachi, Sukkur and Peshawar including establishment of 48 bedded Female and Juvenile Drug Treatment Ward within existing facility in Karachi in addition to existing 145 bedded Drug Treatment Facilities at Islamabad, Quetta and Karachi.
During year 2017, ANF has provided free of cost drug treatment to 900 drug addicts at its Drug Treatment Centers.
During 2017, ANF arranged 23 different training courses at ANF Academy, wherein 1943 officers and officials of ANF as well other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) were imparted professional training.
During the year 2017, ANF also organized high level Inter Agency Task Force (IATF) meetings of all Law Enforcement Agencies at its Headquarters for pondering upon prevalent drug trafficking related challenges, synergizing counter narcotics operations, fine tune coordination and cooperation among the LEAs for effective drug control and to accrue maximum benefits from the jurisdiction of the respective departments.
Besides, ANF has also up-graded ANF Balochistan in respect of deployment, intelligence ability, technical capability and mobility with special focus on Gwadar in view of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
However, enormity of the drug problem in region and its resultant fallout on Pakistan and the world at large is a mega challenge. Pakistan has attained status of poppy-fee state since 2001, but the neighbouring territories produce over 90 per cent of the world’s opiates which puts Pakistan in double jeopardy of being a victim as well as a transit country.
On the whole, professional and operational performance of ANF during 2017 has been par excellence making it one of the elite forces at national, regional and international level.