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Event Title: Senator Gurdeep Singh, Convener Senate Standing Committee on Narcotics Control Presiding over a Meeting of The Committee at Parliament House, Islamabad.

Event Date: 2024-01-09

A meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Narcotics Control was held today at the Parliament House, convened by Senator Gurdeep Singh. The session commenced with a briefing on the functions and operations of the Ministry of Narcotics by Mr. Munir Azam, the Secretary of the Ministry of Narcotics Control. Mr. Munir Azam highlighted that the ministry plays a crucial role on both national and international fronts, emphasizing that the eradication of drug trafficking is a shared responsibility at both the national and global levels.

The ministry provided detailed insights into the policy framework, inter-provincial coordination, and assistance received from foreign countries in the field of narcotics control. They underscored their achievement in attaining Pakistan's poppy-free status. Key policy points focused on maintaining this status, preventing domestic drug production and trafficking, strengthening law enforcement, protecting vulnerable groups such as women, children, and youth, and promoting socio-economic development. Additionally, efforts were highlighted regarding the capacity enhancement of 32 agencies and evidence-based interventions based on abuse reports.

Major General Muhammad Aniq, Director General Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), emphasized collaboration with neighboring countries on intelligence sharing, border control, and joint operations. Internationally, ANF has partnered with organizations like the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Interpol, and other international agencies for resources and technical assistance, it was informed.

Moreover, DG ANF also briefed on the operations and measures taken by ANF to control drug trafficking. Given the distinct regional dynamics of drugs, it poses a national security challenge. Currently, the ANF has a deployment of 3,211 personnel, with 84 belonging to minority groups. He highlighted that despite limited resources, the ANF has successfully implemented an effective counter-narcotics strategy and is currently operating in 23 districts in Pakistan.

While presenting details of the seized drugs in coordination with the provincial government and other Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs) from 2018 to 2023, Director General ANF added that in 2023, there were 73,875 seizures. Furthermore, in the same year, there were 64 foreigners arrested related to drug trafficking. The contribution of ANF to national efforts is reported to be 82.4 percent. However, he emphasized the constraints of limited resources and manpower, requesting the committee members for support. He added there is a need to adopt a uniform national stance on narcotics. Senator Gurdeep Singh, the convenor of the meeting, along with other committee members, commended the efforts of the Ministry of Narcotics and ANF and assured them of their support regarding strengthening the ANF force.

In attendance were Senator Falak Naz, Senator Dost Muhammad Khan, Senator Anwar Lal Dean, the Secretary Ministry of Narcotics Control, the Director General (ANF), and the senior officials from the Ministry of Narcotics.