ISLAMABAD: Recommending strict action against those involved in selling alcohol and drugs on campus, a Senate panel on Friday suggested deploying security forces in the Quaid-e-Azam University and combing it for criminal elements.
During a meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control at the Parliament House, Rehman Malik heard Quaid-e-Azam University Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Ashraf brief the committee about multiple problems the varsity was facing with regards to drugs, encroachment over its land by members of the land mafia and general security.
The varsity has been complaining about members of the land mafia trying to grab QAU’s land owing to absent boundary walls and lax marking in plans by the Capital Development Authority.
After hearing about the issues, Malik said that the committee could not ignore the use of drugs and security issues at a national university.
The committee chairman further said that unless punishments for those associated with drug mafia are not enhanced and implement existing laws, it was not possibly to get rid of this menace.
Terming it as much a threat as terrorism, he noted that there had been an increase in drug addiction across the country, particularly in educational institutions.
“There should be no concession or relaxation for those involved in spreading this curse [of drugs] in our society,” Malik said.
Expressing his shock that only one drug dealer has so far been handed the capital punishment, he said that punishments must be implemented to control drug distribution.
Senator Shahi Syed said that he is astonished how the government was careless about security at QAU, reminding that they have yet to forget what had happened in Bacha Khan University where around a dozen of students were killed in a terrorist attack.
Malik directed the concerned officials to address problems of the university and conduct a combing operation against criminals in areas surrounding the university. He further asked the Secretary Interior to deploy units of police, Frontier Constabulary and Rangers in the varsity.
Earlier, the committee offered prayers for the 42 people who had lost their lives after consuming poisonous liquor in Toba Tek Singh. The committee directed Secretary Interior to present a comprehensive report about the incident and take effective action against those involved in selling the toxic liquor.
Malik also asked the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to inform the committee about identity cards blocked so far and to facilitate people from the tribal belt.
He also asked Nadra to give its feedback about registration of orphans and people from the transgender community. The committee’s chairman expressed his anger over the absence of Nadra’s chairman in the meeting.
The House considered the Trafficking in Persons Bill, 2016 referred by the House to the committee on September 26, 2016, introduced by Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed. Later, the discussion on the bill was deferred due to the absence of Senator Mushahid.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 31st, 2016.