Illicit trafficking, drug abuse poses threat to communities: PM

ISLAMABAD, Jun 26 (APP): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said globally, illicit trafficking and drug abuse posed grave threats to the safety, health, and welfare of communities. 

In a message on the occasion of International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26, he said, “In times of health and humanitarian crises, it is imperative to strengthen action against drug abuse and mitigate its impacts on all segments of society.”

“Illicit trafficking and criminal networks undermine the rule of law and erode the fabric of society.

Pakistan’s geographic location and proximity to trafficking routes increase the threats posed by illicit drugs.”

The PM said the easy availability of synthetic drugs posed dangers to the general public – especially the youth, which made up more than 60% of Pakistan’s population.

“We must work collectively to protect young people from the risks of drug abuse and safeguard their health and well being. Pakistan has shown unwavering commitment to addressing the challenges stemming from illicit drugs, and we are working closely with international organizations for this purpose.”

International cooperation and collaboration, in his opinion, helped limit the proliferation of life-threatening illicit drugs, he said, adding Pakistan was a signatory to all global conventions and protocols related to the prevention of drug abuse and illicit trafficking and had signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with almost forty countries on the issue of illicit drug trafficking and “we are committed to fulfilling our global commitments”.

“The socioeconomic impact of drug use on families, society and country is enormous. It also increases the burden on the existing health services, not only related to the treatment of drug dependents but also drug associated diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B&C.”

“In my view, preventing drug use before it begins is the most cost-effective, common-sense approach to promoting safe and healthy communities.”

He said young people deserved every opportunity to realize their full potential and it was the responsibility of government and society to give them the opportunity to do so.

“On this International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, we reaffirm our commitment to proactively limiting drug abuse and illicit trafficking. I would direct the Ministry of Narcotics Control to take effective measures to promote safer, drug-free communities and address the challenges of illicit drugs.”

“Our media and civil society organizations have great role to play in raising awareness in this regard. Together we have to undertake the mission of achieving drug-free Pakistan.”