Kohati Bazaar’s addicts have nowhere to go

Residents want them removed but police say jail won’t take them and there are no rehab centres


Qaiser Sherazi February 12, 2019
Residents want them removed but police say jail won’t take them and there are no rehab centres. PHOTO: APP

RAWALPINDI: A large number of drug addicts have taken to openly consuming narcotics in the Kohati Bazaar area between the remits of the Bani and Waris Khan police stations.

Locals say a drug peddling couple, a man and a woman, have been openly providing drugs in this area but the police have yet to take any action against them who claim that the jail administration refuses to let them in.

Residents of the area say addicts can often be seen hunkered by the side of the road covered in old, dirty blankets reeking of urine and narcotics. Some locals estimated that there are around 50 drug addicts in this area.

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They complained that the addicts do not listen to anyone and hurl abuse if someone tries to stop them. Moreover, they said that police vehicles patrolling the area seem to turn a blind eye towards the addicts.

When asked about the lack of action against the addicts, investigation and duty officers at the Bani police station said that if they arrest these addicts, the jail administration refuses to let them in.

“The addicts also tend to create a mess when they are held at the precinct,” the officers said, adding that such men must be admitted to hospitals.

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Some of the addicts said that no one had offered them any treatment. They added that they have crossed the point where they could have returned to a normal life. “We have also been turned away from the shelter home built by the government at Fawara Chowk as we do not have identity cards,” one lucid addict said, adding that they want to kick the habit but there is no one who wants to support them through the transformation. 

Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2019.

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