Pakistan’s Zardari calls for joint efforts to curb drug traffickingSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 14/11/2012 2:19 am in World / no comments
ISLAMABAD, Nov. 13 — Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari Tuesday called upon the regional countries to chalk out a joint strategy to deal with the menace of narcotics, local media reported.
Addressing the regional Ministerial Conference on Counter Narcotics in Islamabad, Zardari said the regional countries should maintain real-time contacts like hotline and develop common laws and drug codes to tackle this menace which poses threats to security and stability of the region.
“Drug mafias are in nexus with terrorist organizations and crime syndicates and we must make collective efforts to this problem,” he said.
The president warned that this issue could become more complex after the drawdown of the forces in Afghanistan. Instead of looking towards others for leadership on this issue, “we must lead the fight against illicit drug trade.”
He said narcotics challenge transcends national boundaries. Merchants of death do not recognize any political, geographical, ethical or legal boundaries. The purpose of holding this conference in Islamabad is to find regional solution to the issue as no individual country or organization can overcome it single- handedly.
Zardari said though the international community is sensitive of the issue of narcotics but “we need to do more to protect our future generations from this menace.”
He reminded that heroin was created as a war weapon by the world community to fight the rival ideology in the region. “Now it has become a serious problem and revenues from trading heroin have been steadily rising during the past decade.”
Referring to steps taken by the government to fight against illicit drugs, Zardari said Pakistan is not a drug producing but a transit country which is a more serious and complex issue. To check the smuggling of drug, some serious measures are required.
Ministers and senior officials from Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan are taking part in the conference.
The conference was summoned to share national experiences in countering the menace of illicit drugs and discuss the prospects of regional cooperation in developing pragmatic, comprehensive and sustainable ways of addressing the multifaceted challenge posed by illicit drugs production, demand and trafficking.