Minister stresses community participation to eradicate drugs from society

LAHORE, Jan 14 (APP): Federal Minister for Narcotics Control Brig (retd) Ijaz Ahmed Shah Thursday stressed the need for community participation for eradicating the menace of drug-addiction from society, as the government alone could not overcome the problem.

Though the government was taking a number of measures in this connection, every individual would have to play his role as it was a collective cause, he added.

The federal minister was speaking at an oath-taking ceremony of student anti-narcotics society of the Government College University (GCU).

He said that a decision had been taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan in principle, in consultation with all stakeholders, to establish an institution of Neurosciences at the GCU.

More practical steps were needed to promote such education to deal with drugs use, he added.

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The minister said that establishment of the institute was a landmark decision to make the campuses narcotics-free.

Brig (retd) Ijaz Shah said that drug-users were mistreated by society, but the real criminals were those who were involved in supply of the drugs at campuses. He said drug-users were, in fact, victims of the drug-suppliers.

He said more number of people in the country were falling victim to drugs and other mental disorders due to certain reasons; however, there was a need to sensitise people about its effects on human health and treatment.

The federal minister stressed the need for establishing more rehabilitation centres to treat drug victims and addicts and regretted that the country was lacking such centres.

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“We should work on stopping demand for drugs that would ultimately lead to overcoming its supply,” he added.

Later, talking to the media, he said that politics being done by the PDM [Pakistan Democratic Movement] was the verge of collapse as they had nothing to offer to people except for pursuing an anti-state narrative, which had been rejected by the people.

People’s thin participation in the PDM gatherings from Gujranwala to Lahore showed their declining popularity, he added.

The minister said that demands of dislodging the elected government through politics of agitation on roads was not a political narrative.

To a question, he said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf sit-in was not aimed at removing the government but against irregularities of general elections 2013.