File photo of security personnel demolishing safe heavens of narcotics smugglers in Quetta

Syed Ali Shah:

The number of drug addicts in Balochistan has reached 280000 currently. This was revealed by the Director-General Excise Taxation and Narcotics, Jehangir Khan Kakar during an exclusive interview with the Daily Quetta Voice on Sunday. He mentioned that his department in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies was working on prevention, enforcement and rehabilitation to eradicate the curse of narcotics from Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.

“1.6 percent of our total population is involved in drug addiction”, Mr. Kakar said. He mentioned that most of the drug addicts were youngsters. When asked about the number of heroin addicts, the DG Excise informed that many youths had fallen prey to the curse of heroin in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan.

Quetta’s main city nullah, which snakes through Quetta’s high-security zone houses thousands of addicts

DG Excise’s revelation has come after the city’s main nullah turned into a heroin Bazar. Quetta’s main city nullah, which snakes through Quetta’s high-security zone houses thousands of heroin addicts from grandfather to grandson.

“Most of the narcotics are being smuggled from Afghanistan into Pakistan”, he said, referring to the Helmand province, which produces more than 90 percent of opium across the globe. Anti Narcotics Force (ANF), Excise and Taxation, and other law enforcement agencies have greatly intercepted narcotics. However, despite this, the drug smugglers still manage to reach Quetta and other parts of Pakistan.

80 percent of the addicts were below the age of 40 years

Regarding the age of addicts, Mr. Kakar informed that more than 80 percent of the addicts were between 20 to 40 years of age. “Majority of them are young”, he elaborated. This is alarming, he added.

DG Excise urged the community and members of the society to come forward to play their due role in the eradication of the curse of narcotics. He however said his department has contacted the education department and social welfare department to evolve a joint strategy to eradicate the curse of narcotics from society.

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.