ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control Tuesday directed Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) to speed up efforts to stop smuggling of narcotics inside and outside the country.
Committee Chairman Senator Abdul Rehman Malik presided over the meeting. The committee was told that Afghanistan was the leading producer of narcotics. The governments of United States and Afghanistan should take steps to stop smuggling and production and movement of narcotics.
Senator Abdul Rehman appreciated Anti Narcotics Force for recovering narcotics from airplanes of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), adding ANF should be given more facilities so that it could work more efficiently.
Federal Minister for Anti Narcotics, Salahuddin Tirmizi said his ministry was facing problems and there was shortage of employees and most of the offices were in rented buildings. The ANF officials told the committee that they made 14 arrests of persons involved in trafficking of narcotics at airports of Heathrow, Karachi and Islamabad airports.
They said employees of PIA were also involved in drug trafficking and the 777 airplanes of PIA were used for transport of narcotics. ANF so far has checked 1573 airplanes and the checking will continue on regular basis. They mentioned that seven million people were using narcotics in Pakistan. The chairman committee said investigation should also be started against high level officers and the committee should be informed about the probe. Senator Javed Abbasi said a mechanism should be prepared so that incidents of narcotics smuggling, which defamed the country, were not repeated.
The Senate Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization will take up the issue of alleged misuse of Anti-Money Laundering Act during its upcoming meeting on Thursday, August 17. The senate body, scheduled to meet under the chairmanship of Senator Saleem Mandivwalla, would discuss the alleged misuse of the act to harass taxpayers along with details of the persons charged under the said act for the period from July 2010-2017, according to Senate Secretariat notification issued here. The Senate committee would also be briefed on the implementation status of the recommendations made by the committee and adopted by the House on the Finance Bill 2017.