KARACHI: Healthcare experts have demanded the government to launch a well-planned, organised and rigorous crackdown against the drug manufacturers, smugglers and peddlers across the country’s educational institutes.
Pakistan Medical Association (Centre) Secretary General Dr SM Qaisar Sajjad while talking to PPI welcomed the statement of Interior and Narcotics Control Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan regarding the campaign against the use of narcotics in schools and educational institutions. He said that the decision has been taken very late but the PMA welcomes the move of the federal government. He said that the PMA had been demanding an organised and rigorous crackdown on drug manufacturers and peddlers for a long time to save the nation from the hazardous effects of drugs.
He said a well-planned and organised crackdown should be launched throughout the country from primary school to university level. He suggested that all the provincial governments should follow the federal ministry of narcotics decision and start the crackdown against drug suppliers in their respective provinces.
He informed that the consumption of tobacco products in students has become a fashion in the country and a lot of students are using betel nets, bet leaf, sheesha, cigarette, heroin, marijuana, hashish, opium and other drugs in educational institutes.
He said unfortunately 14 percent female students are using different forms of drugs in Sindh and other parts of the country and the drug abuse has alarmingly increased in the country.
He demanded the federal and provincial government to impose a complete ban on selling tobacco and other drugs inside the premises or around the educational institutes across the country, besides launching a comprehensive crackdown on drug importers, manufacturers and suppliers. He further demanded strict penalties to drug manufacturers and suppliers.
Another leader of PMA, Mirza Ali Azhar, said that the consumption of drugs and other tobacco-related products have rapidly increased in urban and rural areas of the country.
He said that comprehensive efforts are needed to break the chain of drug supply to the educational institutes and drugs are not produced or manufactured in Pakistan and are generally imported from neighbouring countries; therefore, law enforcement agencies should maintain strict monitoring of borders to stop the supply of drugs into the country.
He said consumption of drugs and other tobacco-related products has destroyed the whole society, especially the young generation. He said oral cancer has become the leading cause of death in Pakistan.
Healthcare expert said that the sheesha smoking is also on the rise in youngsters but they are not aware of the fact that smoking one hour Sheesha is equal to smoking 200 cigarettes and said that the special surveillance teams should be formed to monitor the activities of gangs involved in the supplying of drugs to the educational institutions.
He said sincere, well-planned, organised and comprehensive efforts are needed to stop the supply of narcotics to schools and other educational institutions and the use of narcotics is a menace from which our children must be protected, adding that those who were pushing the innocent children towards narcotics are criminals.