Narcotics, a serious threat to KP and Tribal Areas

Sabir Shah Orakzai

Since 1979, due to war in Afghanistan, the weapon-tradition expanded in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and tribal areas of Pakistan. This not only increased the trade of drugs and narcotics but also used tribal areas as a centre for smuggling to the other foreign countries and remained perdured till the day.

After 9/11, terrorism increased in tribal areas and the active consortia also boosted up their activities which consisted of mostly young generation due to which distortion was seen in the tribal society.

The military of Pakistan conducted many operations, from Waziristan to Bajaur and from FR Dera Ismail Khan to FR Peshawar, which still persist in some areas. Along the troubles resulted from war, the  most-dangerous threat to the tribal areas is drug abuse and narcotics mostly affecting the young generation.

A large number of youngsters are affected and have become addictive to various drugs. Seventeen years old class eighth student, Zeeshan, who belongs to a far-flung area of District Orakzai has been using hashish since few years. His father, according to him, used hashish as a trade for earning purpose. He used to steal it from his house for a friend and, in this way, became addictive.

The UN Organization for Anti-Norcotics & Crime, in its annual report, has mentioned that 10% people of total population of Pakistan are addictive to different kinds of intoxicants. The report also said that 4.7% population of Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa and ex-FATA make use of weeds while 5.8% take different addictive drugs as pain-killer and 2.8% use different types of tablet as medication for rest and sleep purpose. The report has mentioned that the number of addicted population is substantial at KP and ex-FATA telling the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan as its main reason where these can easily be obtained because tribal areas are used as a pavement for smuggling them. A social organization, in order to cure drug-addicts, has been serving in Peshawar since 1992 which has thrivingly treated 40K addicts mostly belonging to KP, ex-FATA and Afghanistan. This organization, in the last three years, has treated more than 3K addicts with the collaboration of provincial government. There are more than 24 lacs addicts to different drugs  in KP but there are only 150 beds in different hospitals due to which the capacity to cure them is inconvenient. However, the organization has a capacity of 800 beds. Talking of the whole country, there are more than 70 lacs addicts with a capacity of 2000 beds only.

According to the Standing Committee of Senate for Anti-Narcotics, the number of addicts has been increasing 4% annually and an amount of 26400 US-dollars has been disbursed on their treatment.  According to Anti-Narcotics, 75% of opium in the world is cultivated in Afghanistan resulting in the production of various drugs like heroine and 140 ton is smuggled through tribal areas and Baluchistan annually. In this amount, 20% is gotten hold by government institutions and, in the rest, some is used here while other is transferred to Europe, Gulf and America.

There are different kinds of intoxicants in the current day. Aged-people are addicted to use Heroine, Hashish and Opium while, on the flip side, youngsters are addicted to Ice which is also known as Crystal Meth, Shesha and Hashish affecting the boys and girls in educational institutions. According to a survey, held previous year by International Organization for Anti-Narcotics, 50% of students, including male and female in various universities, are involved in different types of addiction including hashish and Ice.

According to Ministry of Health, 700 people, on the daily basis, die due to drug-abuse and narcotics in Pakistan. Addiction not only affects the memory but also weakens physical body. Government should initiate awareness programs in order to inform the harms of drug addiction. Those addicted should immediately quit otherwise it will be late later on.



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