Writing for The News, EWI Director Ikram Sehgal addresses the current issue of drug trafficking in Pakistan, and how to eradicate it.
“For Pakistan, supply reduction requires an integrated strategy of domestic enforcement, border control and international cooperation, both within the region and with partners such as the UN,” explains Sehgal.
With the increased proliferation of drugs throughout Pakistan, Sehgal explains that the problem needs to be addressed at several levels: “Proliferations of drugs and psychotropic substances within Pakistani society and the subsequent increase in numbers of drug addicts are emerging challenges, particularly because sale and distribution occurs at the micro-level with responsibility spread across many Government agencies.”
Another aspect of the national drug problem that must change is the way governments handle drug users and dealers: “Drug users should be assisted with treatment and rehabilitation, be treated as victims rather than criminals. Drug traffickers must be arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law.”
Sehgal explains that the link between drug trafficking and drug use with terrorism and civil unrest is paramount: “The nexus between insurgency, terrorism, drugs manufacturing smuggling and organized crime requires Pakistan’s counter-terrorism and counter-terrorism strategies to be integrated with the poppy-eradication strategy at the national level to ensure a comprehensive approach to transnational crime.”
Sehgal concludes: “Enhanced public participation in combating drug abuse, strengthened drug enforcement structures and boosting of treatment and rehabilitation services will achieve the ultimate goal of a drug-free Pakistan.”