Govt fully committed to fight human, drug trafficking: Ahsan

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APP88-24 ISLAMABAD: October 24 - Interior Minister Professor Ahsan Iqbal addressing the audience at the Regional Conference on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling. APP

Islamabad, October 24, (APP):Minister for Interior Ahsan Iqbal Tuesday said the government was fully committed to fighting human trafficking and drug smuggling through effective steps.He was speaking at the launch of the annual report on Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime here.
The minister said human trafficking must be seen in a broader context and “we need to identify all the problems and factors associated with the problem of human trafficking.”
There were different “push and pull factors” and conflict, extreme poverty and unemployment among youth were some of causes of trafficking of humans, he noted.
People were more vulnerable and insecure when political crises erupt and the environment was not safe, he added.
He said it was fundamental right of everybody to enjoy freedom and peace, adding conflicts were spreading in the world and “we must redouble our efforts to ensure peace and security for everybody”.
The minister said situation in Afghanistan was the major cause of instability in the region.
He urged the international community to not point fingers at Pakistan and look at the broader historical context in which the whole situation unfolded in the past decades.
Other countries shared responsibility with Pakistan for the situation that emerged during the Afghan war,  due to the consequences of the collapse of Soviet Union and destruction of the Berlin Wall, he added.
After the end of war in Afghanistan, the western powers left the region and Pakistan had to bear the burden of 3.5 million Afghan refugees and the poorest of the poor people were left with a lot of weapons which only caused terrorism, he explained.
The problems of kalashnikov culture and drug running were the results of the Afghan war, he added.
He urged the international community to help Pakistan in solving the issue of Afghan refugees, adding, “Other countries cannot escape this responsibility.” “We have to restore peace, security and create alternative livelihoods.”
Ahsan said government of Pakistan had made major gains in the last four years.
The minister said In 2013, Pakistani economy was in doldrums and was on the verge of bankruptcy and then there was an economic turn around and after four years of strenuous efforts by the Pakistan Muslim League (N) government, highest growth rate of 5.3 percent was posted, which was the highest in a decade.
He recalled that in the year 2013, Pakistan was the worst victim of the wave of terrorism and not a single day passed without bomb explosions and acts of terror.
But now in 2017, the incidents of terrorism were reduced by 90 percent and peace has returned to the country, he said adding Karachi was back to normalcy and target killings and major crimes were reduced by 95 percent as well, he said adding when the government came in power in 2013, the country was facing with worst energy crises which led to closure of factories and unemployment.
People faced 18-20 hours of loadshedding but now they were getting electricity for 18 to 20 hours, he added.
In the last four years, 10,000 megawatts were added to the system against 16,000 megawatts of electricity which were added in the last 60 years, he added.
He said Pakistan needed to strengthen its law and institutions to protect its citizens from human and drug trafficking.