Lahore:February 10: The speakers at an awareness seminar at the Government College University (GCU) Lahore on Tuesday raised an alarm about the fast developing trend of use of narcotics in the youth’s social gatherings, especially in the educated elite class.
They said that terrorism and narcotics are equally devastating, and the difference is just in realisation and visibility of effects in immediate or later timeframe.
Eminent actor and social worker Rashid Mehmood chaired the seminar titled “Drug of Abuse” which was followed by a Walkathon in the university campus. The seminar and walkathon was organised by the university’s Dunicliff Chemical Society.
In his keynote address, Punjab Anti-Narcotics Force Commander Brig Syed Mehmoodul Hassan said that Afghanistan is the world’s leading producer and cultivator of opium, producing almost 83% of the world’s total opium and also the largest producer of cannabis.
He explained that Pakistan’s geographical proximity and porous border with Afghanistan has made it highly vulnerable to narcotics. According to UNODC World Drug Report 2014, 44% of Afghanistan’s opium/narcotics transit through Pakistan.
He showed great concern over the increasing use of drug in the educated youth especially those who belonged to the elite class. He said that the concept of national security had changed from narrow to broader approach, which reckons both kinetic and non-kinetic security threats including non-state actors and narcotics cartels.
He said that ANF had seized 12,809Kg heroine and morphine, 50,184Kg opium and 133,645Kg hashish just in 2015 and arrested 1,460 drug peddlers. However, he said he had always shown extreme restraint in sending drug abused student behind the bars because they were the future of the country, and their right place were universities, not jails.
The force commander also educated the students about different kinds of prevailing Narco-Dugs, their negative effects on health and role of students in eliminating this curse from this sacred land. He called upon the universities’ administrations to appoint youth ambassadors for creating awareness in the society about the danger of drug use.Daily Times.