House calls for joint efforts against drugs

Members say the use of narcotics is high in private schools

Our Correspondent May 28, 2024


The Sindh Assembly on a motion, submitted by the PPP member Nida Khuhro, expressed deep concern over the growing trend of drug use in society, especially in educational institutions, and stressed the need for joint efforts to curb this menace.

Members from the government and the opposition benches took part in the long discussion on the issue and gave useful tips to prevent this social evil.

Health Minister Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho said, this is a serious problem, children have easy access to buy drugs online and get it delivered outside educational institutions. The use of drugs at school parties is common, which is destroying the future of children.

She said, parents should keep a watch on their children, and in case they notice any unusual change in their routine, they should act immediately to tackle the situation before it is too late.

She said, it is learned that many parents take drugs and so their children follow them and such parents are unable to prevent their children.

The health minister said that rehabilitation centres have been opened in Karachi in collaboration with the Anti-Narcotics Force. She said that there should be healthy activities in schools so that children do not go towards any sort of addiction.

Sindh Senior Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon said that drugs are not only the problem of Sindh but the entire country is in the grip of this evil destroying and killing the young generation.

He maintained that President Asif Ali Zardari has specially came to Karachi and the first thing he said was the elimination of drugs.

He expressed his determination to eradicate the drug menace and no one will be spared if involved in the drug business, irrespective of how influential he is.

He said crystal and ice are being sold in small villages in rural areas. They have fewer resources, and the narcotics department also faces staff shortages. He requested the IG and Home Minister to provide staff.

Sharjeel said, most actions against drugs have been taken in district Hyderabad and eight to nine drug dealers have been killed in police encounters while many have been arrested.

He said that MPAs have to work against drug dealers in their respective areas and help the government and agencies to eliminate drugs and drug dealers.

Education Minister Sardar Shah highlighted the impact of societal drug use on educational institutions.

He stressed that if drugs are sold in neighbourhoods, schools will be affected too, necessitating anti-drug awareness campaigns in schools.

Shah advocated incorporating drug prevention into school curricula and called for the Anti-Narcotics Department and Home Minister to disrupt drug supply chains, emphasising that society is engulfed in a crisis affecting everyone.

MQM-P's Anil Kumar pointed out that drug abuse, particularly ice, doesn’t start suddenly, as drugs are openly sold. He also criticized the misuse of liquor licences under minority quotas.

MQM-P's Rehan Rajput highlighted the lack of sports facilities, pushing youth towards drugs. He advocated for more sports grounds to foster a healthy society, lamenting the focus on hospital spending over sports infrastructure. Rajput emphasized the collective effort required to combat the scourge of drugs.

PPP's Heer Soho underscored the urgent need for serious action against the rising drug use, noting that even in developed countries, children are affected. She emphasized the need for a unified approach to control the problem, pointing out the involvement of women in drug trafficking.

PPP's Marvi Rashdi, speaking as a mother, revealed a survey indicating that 27% of children admit to drug use, predominantly in private schools. She called for a unified effort to tackle this issue.

MQM's Najam Mirza linked drug abuse among youth to street crime, explaining that drug addicts become a psychological burden on society. He raised concerns about online drug marketing, where drugs are delivered like food orders.

Sardar Khan Chandio highlighted the widespread drug use, including ice and heroin, across Sindh's villages and the cultivation of drugs in the province. He urged fellow lawmakers to commit to fighting drug abuse, revealing that drug sales occur under police supervision in Dadu.

PPP's Qasim Soomro stressed the need to stop drugs at their source, while Jamaat-e-Islami's Muhammad Farooq called for legislative action.

Concluding the debate, Deputy Speaker Naveed Anthony ruled that the adjournment motion be sent to the cabinet for effective legislation. The Sindh Assembly session was subsequently adjourned.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 28th, 2024.



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