ANF’s Role in Anti Drug Campaign

 By Zaheerul Hassan Drugs free Pakistan

All over the world, millions of people are drug addicts due to various reasons like, depression, injustice, bad company, poverty and lust of becoming rich through shortcuts. Some of the people involve themselves in drug trafficking and do not even care about the   strictness of the respective country’s laws. Such people ultimately proceed to heaven as a result of extensive usages of drugs or courts’ awards.  According to UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) nearly 200 million people are using illicit drugs such as cocaine, cannabis, hallucinogens, opiates and sedative hypnotics worldwide. UNODC with help of local forces has, over the years, been actively involved in launching campaigns to mobilize support for drug control.

In this regards, the joint action teams comprises of the local agencies and UN representatives encourages people in society to actively take part in these campaigns. It is pertinent to mention that 40% of total narcotics and drugs produced in Afghanistan are trafficked through Southern Route (Pakistan) while 25% are trafficked through Northern Route i.e. Central Asian Republics (CARs). The earned money is also being used in fomenting regional terrorism. Many TTP leaders and brother of Hamid Karzai, Afghan president were also allegedly involved in drugs trafficking. The world community In December 1987 through UN General Assembly has decided to observe June 26 as the International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.  In this regard, objective has been set for the member’s countries to make efforts to create an international society free of drug abuse. This resolution recommended further action with regard to the report and conclusions of the 1987 International Conference on Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The general assembly has also decided that to address drug issue politically since criminals of many countries involved in drug business.

Due to the regional dynamic, Pakistan remained very prostrate to drugs mafia since its inception and as result of poor security environment due to Afghan crises. Therefore, being a responsible nation, our government has raised   Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) in 1995 by combining Anti Narcotics Task Force (ANTF) and Pakistan Narcotics Control Board (PNCB).

Notably, Pakistan Narcotics Board (PNB) was set up in 1957, in the Revenue Division in order to fulfill Pakistan’s obligations under the International Opium Convention of 1925. Pakistan Narcotics Board (PNB) comprised representatives from the Provincial Governments and some Federal Ministries and Divisions. Pakistan ratified the Single Convention on Narcotics Drugs, 1961 on 15th August, 1965. With a view to meet its obligations under the said Convention, the Government of Pakistan, through a declaration of 8 March, 1973, reorganized the PNB as Pakistan Narcotics Control Board (PNCB). The Anti Narcotics Task Force (ANTF) was established in December 1991. In February 1995 ex PNCB and ANTF were amalgamated to constitute the Anti Narcotics Force. The operational strength of ANF is just 1,974. On average, one person seized over 126 kgs contrabands in 2013.

The ANF draws strength from local laws, UN Conventions against illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs – 1961, UN Conventions against illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances – 1971 and 1988 and Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) – Pakistan has signed MoUs with 30 Countries for fighting the menace of drugs.

ANF undertakes counter narcotics activities in Pakistan and complement regional and international counter narcotics efforts of various countries. It is responsible to cover the entire country i.e. Apart from many unfrequented routes, 7 major border entries and exit points, 13 airports, 3 sea and 17 dry ports. ANF areas of operation not restricted to some specific zone, it covers border with neighboring states; with Afghanistan. 2538 Kms that include KPK 1315 Kms & Balochistan 1223 Kms, on Iran side covering 909 Kms with balochistan, on eastern side with India guard 1600Kms and all along coastal belt which is 1062 Kms in length.  In this context the entire area of responsibility, of ANF has five Regional Directorates with 25 Police Stations (PSs).

From 1998–2013, ANF is made hectic efforts from 1998 to create awareness against drug abuse and encourage community participation in anti drug campaign. The force has also established treatment and rehabilitation centers in various parts of the country. In this connection, four hospitals in Quetta, Islamabad, Kalri Karachi, and one Detoxification Centre Adyala Jail – Rawalpindi have been established from 2000-2014. The details of treated person in last two years are:-

Year MATRC Quetta MATRC Islamabad MATRC Karachi Adyala Jail Total
2012-2013 552 437 493 493 1975

(upto 28 Feb 14)

331 256 263 474 1324

 These contributions of ANF really produced excellent results through effective monitoring and evaluation mechanism. In this regard institutions like National Anti-Narcotics Council (NANC), National Narcotics Control Committee (NNCC), and Senate Standing Committee on Interior & Narcotics Control, National Assembly Standing Committee on Interior & Narcotics Control, Inter Agency Task Force (IATF), Planning and Monitoring Unit (PMU) closely watch and ensure the implementation of National ANF Policy

ANF being the lead agency to control and eradicate drugs from the country has three fold strategies, which includes supply reduction, demand reduction and co-ordination at national and international levels.  The Supply Reduction Strategy Includes dismantling of drug trafficking networks, limiting the smuggling, trafficking and distribution of Narcotics in the country and strict control on movements of Precursor Chemicals through an elaborated precursor control regime.

The Demand Reduction Strategy includes reducing the demand of illicit drugs through awareness programmes, preventive education, treatment and rehabilitation programmes.

International Cooperation Strategy includes enhancing international cooperation in fight against drugs by maintaining liaison with all national and international narcotics control authorities such as UNODC, International Narcotics Control Board (INCB), Interpol, Drug Enforcement Agency (US), Serious Organized Crime Agency (UK) etc. ANF also represents Pakistan in international conferences, seminars & workshops as lead Anti Narcotics Agency.

To implement the strategies in true letter and spirit, ANF has prepared “Drug Abuse Control Master Plan 2010-14”. In this regard, the force achieved tremendous results with regards to seizing, arresting smugglers and assisting drugs addicted in their rehabilitation phases.

During seizing operation ANF arrested 45 foreigners who were involved in drugs trafficking.  In year 2013 the force employees displayed greater sense of responsibility while making significant dent in major drug trafficking organizations by apprehending important members of these networks. The number of drug cases registered remained almost the same (693 in 2012 and 692 in 2013) however number of drug traffickers arrested was 10.2% higher than 2012. The total numbers of persons arrested in 2013 were 796 as compared to 722 in 2012.

On timely and real-time information sharing by ANF in 2013, six countries of the world have seized 362 kgs of heroin, 15 kgs of cocaine, 15 kgs Crystal and 5100 Diazepam tablets as compared to only 139.926 Heroin and 9.3 kg Hashish in 2012. International Controlled Delivery (ICD) Operations initiated by ANF resulted into seizure of 50 kg heroin, 3000 Kg hashish and 1000 kg Cocaine in different parts of the world in the year in question, far greater than the 2012 statistics of ICD operations when the seizure of heroin was 30.84 kgs. Number of foreigners arrested inside Pakistan also rose from 42 in 2012 to 47 in 2013. ANF also assisted 26 other international drug law enforcement agencies of the world in 2,040 various international enquiries in 2013 as compared to 914 enquiries in 2012 – a marvelous 123% increase from the cooperation in 2012.

During year 2013 the ANF destroyed Hashish 83456.49 Kgs, Opium 26452.96 Kgs, Heroin 10911.79 Kgs , Morphine  4958.52 Kgs, Ephedrine 24.90 Kgs, Cocaine 0.098 Kgs, Morphine Injections 16204 Nos, and  Acetic Anhydride 479.95 litres.

The major operation has   been launched poppy cultivation zones of Pakistan where worth millions of rupees poppy crops have been destroyed. Whereas, in Afghanistan the production of poppy and drug trafficking have been remained very high.  According to current research of “The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit’s (AREU)”  36 percent reported increase in 2012-13 follows the 18 percent increase between 2010-11 and 2011-12, and has produced what the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) calls a “sobering” record high level.

In short, Anti Narcotics Force of Pakistan is a multi-faceted force, recognized internationally for being professional, and has shown excellence in every mandated task in the last year. Led by professionals and owned by its dedicated members, Anti Narcotics Force, no doubt, stands prominent amongst world’s leading drug law enforcement agencies. The credit goes to each and every member of the force working in whatever capacity, fighting the menace of drugs wholeheartedly throughout the year and making year 2013 a huge success. At the end the country benefited, the world benefited, the mankind benefited!

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