A parliamentary forum, Friday, sought a detailed report from the Sindh government over death of 25 people due to drinking poisonous liquor.
These directions were given by the Senate Standing Committee on Narcotic Control, which held its meeting here under the chairmanship of Senator Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhary.
Senator Saifullah Abro informed the committee that 25 people lost their lives owing to drinking of raw liquor in district Tando Allahyar and Tando Jam areas of Sindh province but neither the federal concerned authorities nor provincial authorities took notice of the matter.
He further said there were raw wine factories everywhere in Sindh province and scores of people had lost their lives owing to the use of poisonous liquor and many had lost eyesight after using raw alcohol.
Responding to the Senator Abro’s concerns, Federal Secretary Narcotics Control Kaleem Imam said the issue of alcohol did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Narcotics Control and only the local police and the provincial government could conduct a trial on it.
Senator Jam Mehtab Dahar said that “our new generation is being destroyed due to drugs and those at the helm of the affairs should make all possible efforts to protect the youth, which is the future of the country.” The chairman of the committee took note of the matter and sought a detailed report from the provincial government on the matter.
Responding to a question raised in the House by Senator Seemee Ezdi on the establishment of drug treatment and rehabilitation centres, the secretary Narcotics Control told the committee that currently there were 135 rehabilitation centres in operation across the country. There are about 70 unregistered centres. He added that his ministry was trying to register as many centres as possible.
Only four centres are functioning under the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF), of which, three in Sindh and one in Islamabad. A new centre is being set up in Rawat area of Rawalpindi. The secretary of Narcotics Control said the prevention of new drugs, including crystal meth and ice, was a major challenge. The ANF’s mandate is simply to prevent and control large-scale drug trafficking.
Treatment and rehabilitation of drug addicts is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health and the provincial governments. The chairman of the committee said that drug addicts should be treated as sick people. And every possible step will be taken for their treatment.
This report was first published in Business Recorder on February 12, 2022.