ISLAMABAD: State Minister for interior Shehryar Afridi on Thursday vowed to rid the country of drugs. To do that, he said, they need to make collective efforts against the powerful mafia.
“The drug peddlers were playing with future of the youth,” he said during a seminar titled “Drug-free Islamabad”.
The seminar had been organised by Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) Administration in collaboration with the Pakistan Red Crescent and was attended by the Inspector General of Islamabad Police Aamir Zulfiqar Khan, Islamabad Chief Commissioner Amir Ahmad Ali, Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Force Commander-North Brigadier Mubashir Hussain, Pakistan Red Crescent Chairman Dr Saeed Elahi, besides a number of senior police officers and ICT administration officials, ulema, teachers from various educational institutions, parents and students.
Stating that the government had launched a campaign against the drug mafia, Afridi said that it was starting to bear fruit, adding that the crackdown against drug peddlers, suppliers and facilitators will continue until the desired results are achieved.
“There will be no compromise over the drug trade whatsoever, no matter power of the [drug] mafia,” he declared.
Talking about the responsibilities shared between the government and the public to control this menace, Afridi said that parents are far more responsible than the government to stop their children from doing drugs.
He further claimed that parents had a vital role to play in the upbringing of children in society, adding that a casual attitude towards children can turn into lifelong regret.
The state minister added that one of the reasons why children take up drugs is the gaps which emerge between them and their parents. He elaborated that due to the emerging gap, children feel that they could not share their true feelings with their own family members and turn to drugs in desperation.
“There was a time when nobody used to watch television for 40 days if any death occurred in the neighbourhood as the people felt for each other,” he said and advised parents to keep mobile phones away from the reach of young children.
He said that the teachers along with parents were the most responsible.
For the orphan children, who were usually sent to religious seminaries, Afridi said that the government will take responsibility for such children.
“We will remain vulnerable to the enemy unless we show unity,” he added.
Afridi also advised students not to cave into peer pressure, since it was always deceptive and destroys lives.
IGP Aamir Zulfiqar Khan said that they were fighting a war against drugs after the war on terrorism. He urged parents to keep a check on their children as he vowed to continue action against those spreading this poison.
Further, he advised treating drug addicts as patients.
The Islamabad Chief Commissioner asked parents and students to join hands with the police to make the city drugs-free
Brig Kazmi said that the drug use had become a burning issue in the federal capital while he regularly receives frantic calls from parents. However, he said that drug addiction was a societal issue which needs to be resolved at that level only.
Noting the rising use of drugs amongst students, he lamented that educational institutions were not playing any role in creating awareness against narcotics.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 25th, 2019.