KARACHI: Director General Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) Brigadier Mansoor Ahmed Janjua has said that there is no denying of the fact that the business & industrial community has to be facilitated hence, the ANF tries its level best to do so within the limited resources by inspecting a mere number of containers, out of thousands of container coming in and moving out of the ports every month. “A small mere percentage of just 0.60 percent import-bound and 1.25 percent export-bound containers were checked by the ANF out of thousands of containers that left from and arrived at the ports last year”, he said.
Speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI), DG ANF said, “ANF does not take any charges for checking containers while whenever a container is opened for examination by ANF, we make sure it is closed on same day without any unnecessary delays. Our offices are open and the staff is available all the time to fully assist any member of the business community who might be facing any issue in this regard”, he added.
President KCCI Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, Senior Vice President KCCI Arshad Islam, Chairman of Export Subcommittee Shoaib Sultan, Former Vice President Nasir Mehmood, KCCI managing committee members and others were also present at the meeting.
DG ANF stated that Pakistan was a transit and a victim state of drugs and narcotics mainly because of its neighbor Afghanistan. Since commencement of war on terrorism, every year the cultivation of opium poppy has been increasing and in 2018, opium poppy was cultivated on a huge land of 263,000 hectors as per survey conducted by United Nation. Fortunately, Pakistan is not an opium growing country as since 2001, Pakistan is a poppy-free state as per United Nations. “We have a couple of minor spots in Balochistan and KPK where some poppy was often being cultivated on a lower scale but these are immediately destroyed whenever found and it was an ongoing process.”
Brig. Mansoor Janjua said, “There is no exact percentage available on how much opium poppy comes to Pakistan from Afghanistan and goes to the world through ports, seas and airports but we are trying our best to strictly deal with this serious threat as we have to take care of world’s concerns and save Pakistan’s reputation. After terrorism, this is the second label which the western world would like to put on us so all of us will have to make collective efforts. Like terrorists, these drug mafias also don’t have any religion, any cast, creed or any nationality. They are the enemies of humanity”, he added.
“We are sharing a huge border 2611 kilometers with Afghanistan. On completion of the ongoing border fencing being done by the Pakistan Army, considerable reduction in transportation of drugs will occur”, he said.
He stressed that everyone, particularly the parents and also the members of the business & industrial community will have to take the lead role as it cannot be done alone by ANF or Police. A couple of years ago, just two types of drug addiction including use of heroin and hashish were common but nowadays, our children and youth were getting addicted to party drugs and synthetic drugs including the ice and crystals etc. so the whole community will have to make collective efforts and raise awareness as it cannot be done alone by the ANF or any other department.
Highlighting some of the awareness events arranged by ANF last year, he informed that a total of 70 awareness events were organized in Sindh including awareness sessions in 20 universities, 20 colleges and 16 schools, majority of which are located in Karachi where ANF teams of professionals including psychiatrists and psychologists addressed the children and youth. “Under ANF’s Ambassadorship Program, around 4,000 students have also been engaged to influence their colleagues to say no to all such bad things”, he added. He further informed that last year 72,000 kilograms of hashish, more than 11,000 kilograms of heroin and 504 metric tons of other drugs were destroyed by ANF Pakistan.
Earlier, President KCCI Agha Shahab Ahmed Khan, while welcoming DG ANF, emphasized that exporters must be facilitated as delay in checking of containers at ports has to be avoided by ANF, which increases the cost of doing business. The procedure of checking containers should be completed within a few hours and export consignments must be released at the earliest to avoid the financial loss and loss of future orders caused by delays.
He was of the opinion that despite the scanners and customs authority clear containers, the ANF marks such containers for further checking which delays the consignment and during examination, goods are mishandled and destroyed as they are reloaded in a very inappropriate way that needs special attention.