ISLAMABAD – Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said that around 70 per cent of the Taliban’s income comes from managing and taxing the illicit drug business, and this nexus between opium producers, mafia and Taliban has had a detrimental impact on the security of both Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Malik said this while addressing a gathering at the concluding session of a two-day Regional Ministerial Conference entitled “counter narcotics, enhancing cooperation for effective coordinated and sustainable narcotics control”, reports The Express Tribune.
Malik said there is a need to have a long term, collaborative and holistic strategy rather than sporadic destruction of poppy fields.
He further said that Pakistan is fighting against narco-terrorism despite having meager resources. He added that the drug menace being faced by Pakistan requires a concerted action based on principle of common and shared responsibility.
Furthermore, Malik said that Pakistan is major transit route for Afghan opiates with nearly 160 metric ton of heroin, which makes up 44 per cent of total Afghan heroin, which transits through its territorial jurisdictions.
“It is estimated that in 2010, total drug users in Pakistan reached about 8.1 million abusing opium, heroin including injecting users and hashish etc,” he said.
Malik said that the government of Pakistan, in order to address the drug problem, has adopted a comprehensive strategy with its main pillars Drug Abuse Prevention and Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation.
He said that a Drug Abuse Control Master Plan for five years (2010-2014) was prepared to reduce the health, social and economic costs associated with drug problem.
Malik added that Pakistan has been a major contributor to Acetic Anhydride (AA) seizures under UNODC operation and made two worlds largest seizure of Acetic Anhydride.
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