ISLAMABAD: A special team of the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) conducted an intelligence-based operation in Balochistan on Monday, resulting in the seizure of heroine worth billions of rupees.
With the seizure of 746kg heroin worth Rs4.77 billion in the international market, the force has now seized ‘approximately 12,365 tonnes of narcotics in the past 17 years,’ said official details available with The Express Tribune.
They, however, admitted that the special teams could not apprehend the drug peddlers believed to be involved in this latest bid as they were hiding in far-flung areas of the province.
The material was packed in 225 packets and was being taken in a Toyota Surf vehicle on Quetta-Chaman Road, Killi Shore, Badezai, tehsil Gulistan in district Qilla Abdullah.
The drugs were being transported during Eidul Fitr. To thwart the transportation of the drugs, ANF had to deploy personnel on five routes simultaneously.
Read: Illicit channel: $1.8b worth of narcotics seized from Khyber since March
Meanwhile, Chairman Senate’s Standing Committee on Interior and Anti-Narcotics Senator Rehman Malik observed in a recent meeting of the committee, “An action plan is required to curb the use of illegal drugs in the country.”
The country is critically placed in international drug trade as it shared an over 2,400km-long and porous border with Iran and Afghanistan, he added.
Expressing concern on the non-arrest of ‘big names’ transporting illegal drugs to various parts of the country, Malik directed ANF officials to apprehend them and assured them of support.
Read: Designer drugs? ANF arrests three men smuggling narcotics in clothes
Official documents of the ANF had also revealed that Pakistan spent Rs4 a year on each drug addict in the country while approximately 8.9 million people (5.4% of the population) were substance abusers.
“Pakistan has allocated Rs27 million for drug addicts (in the budget),” ANF Director-General Maj-Gen Khawar Hanif told the committee earlier this month.
“Unfortunately, there is no proper policy for maintaining rehabilitation centres in the country,” he pointed out.
Asked if drug money was fuelling terrorism, Narcotics Control Division Secretary Ghalib Bandesha said: “There is no direct nexus between terrorism and drug money in Pakistan.”