RAWALPINDI: With drugs smuggling increasing, particularly for crystal methamphetamine (ice) and heroin, rising in Punjab, the government has decided to set up anti-narcotics stations in all 36 districts of the province. The first such station in Rawalpindi district is expected to start working next month.
Directions for this have been issued by the secretary of the Excise and Taxation and Narcotics Control Department of Punjab.
To train officers for these new precincts, the first cohort of 60 officers and excise inspectors have arrived at the Chungi Training Centre.
This comes on the back of news that Punjab’s first anti-narcotic station, set up in Thokar Niaz Baig of Lahore, has become fully functional.
Each station will have an excise inspector heading it along with a moharrar and will comprise a staff of around 15 to 20 people working under them. The stations will be equipped with wireless communication devices, a car, a motorbike and weapons. The staff will also wear a proper uniform.
The Anti-Narcotics Force will set up check posts on all entry and exit points to all major cities in the province while this force will be empowered to launch a raid on suspected hideouts anywhere in the city.
Owing to the rise in smuggling of drugs, particularly ice and heroin, officials have directed to expedite the formation of these stations.
In Rawalpindi district, this station is expected to be completed next month.
Excise Director General Raja Zahid said that the creation of these stations will help curb the drug menace in the region.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 3rd, 2018.