NEW YORK – Pakistan has put in place robust and comprehensive measures to counter the scourge of narcotic drugs, Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan told the United Nations.
He was addressing to the UN General Assembly special session on the world drug problem. “Drug demand reduction, treatment and rehabilitation are high on our priority,” he said while calling for better coordination and cooperation among member states to accomplish the task.
On this occasion, Nisar voiced concern over emerging trends in some parts of the world to legalize use of illicit drugs – obviously referring to moves being made in a few countries to permit the use of marijuana. “This would give a fillip to drug demand thus igniting the supply chain having direct fallouts on our region,” the minister told high-level delegates.
The minister said that the concepts lacking consensus, like harm reduction and the so-called human rights based approach, were likely to further complicate the issue. “We have all been endeavouring to build a drug free society not a drug tolerant society.” He said that Pakistan’s geographical location exposes it to be the prime victim and transit country for major portion of global opiates and cannabis, while pointing out that drug dynamics in producing countries, transit countries and target countries were diverse.
“No two countries and no two regions have similar environment. Therefore, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions,” he said. He added that Pakistan took pride in saving the world from over 1.86 billion narcotics doses in last three years, with last year’s seizure of amounting to over 342 tons of illicit drugs. “Being the top contributors in international seizures beyond our territorial borders we contributed to almost 25 tons of illicit drugs seizures around the world.”
The minister called for treating the existing UN Drug Control Conventions as a repository of core guiding principles for developing international counter drug approach. “We would expect greater focus on the prime target and transit countries in terms of mustering resources for the capacity building of the frontline states in the war against narcotic drugs, commensurate to the threat they are confronted with and proportionate to their core contributions to the cause.
Nisar underscored the need for the international community to do more to counter the menace of narcotics in all its forms through better coordination and cooperation between the member countries. Several heads of state and more than 40 ministers from around the world are attending the session at UN Headquarters in New York.