Pakistan’s prime minister calls on society to unite in combating drug addiction, which he says can destroy entire families
Terming drug addiction blight on society, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday claimed that over 7 million young people of Pakistan were currently addicted to various types of drug.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Anti-Narcotics Force Headquarters in Rawalpindi, Khan said the incumbent government wanted to protect Pakistani youth from drugs. “Drugs are silent killers. We have to collectively fight this problem,” he said, adding that when a society indulges in activities forbidden in Islam, it always leads to destruction.
“Whatever has been instructed in the Quran is for the benefit of humankind,” he said, adding that in the 1980s Pakistani society had accepted people earning money off drug smuggling because it was believed all the drugs were being transported out of the country. “This was the biggest setback for our country,” he claimed.
Citing government statistics, the prime minister claimed drugs hurt not only addicts, but also their entire families. Referring to an incident in Kasur last week that saw a man throwing his five children into the Jamber Canal, he said it had later emerged that the culprit was a drug addict. “Whenever a person becomes a drug addict, their entire family suffers,” he stressed. “If there are 7 million drug addicts in the country, it means that 7 million families are struggling,” he added.
Khan claimed people didn’t realize the gravity of the problem, which allowed addiction to spread through society “like a cancer.” He reiterated a claim he had made last year that drugs were now easily available in schools and colleges.
“A synthetic drug called ice [crystal methamphetamine] has penetrated schools and colleges. Drugs destroy children’s character and discipline,” he claimed, adding this often compromised the future of the addicts and their families.
The prime minister said that while it was the ANF’s job to control the distribution and sale of drugs, it was incumbent on society to collectively resist the problem of addiction. “We have to fight against drugs together. Society has an important role to play in this regard,” he said.
Khan vowed he would soon establish a council to unite under a single umbrella the national effort to fight Pakistan’s drug problem. “We will initiate a new anti-narcotics program,” he said. “I will call a meeting next week to discuss how we can fight this cancer.”