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ISLAMABAD: The International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking being marked around the globe on Sunday, several awareness campaigns, rallies and events were also held in Pakistan to create awareness among the society about the harmful effects of drugs.

This year the World Drug Day was being observed under the theme of addressing drug challenges in health and human crises.

Various events like drug awareness walks, rallies and events were held all over the country, to mark the day.

Parliamentary Secretary for Law and Parliamentary Affairs of Balochistan Assembly Dr. Rubaba Khan Buledi in her message said drugs were destroying our society like termites, which can be countered by collective measures so that the menace of narcotics does not spread, while protecting the youth of our society.

She said that according to a UN report, more than 7.6 million people in Pakistan were addicted to drugs while in Balochistan the number is around 0.3 million, also saying that counter-narcotics measures and legislation in the country needed to be made more effective.

Senior Joint Secretary Ministry of Narcotics Control Sabino Sikandar Jalal said ministry and its attached department (Anti Narcotics Force) observed the ‘Drug Day’ in collaboration with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) every year to raise awareness about the threat of illicit drugs posed for our society.

“Media has an important role in spreading this awareness. Ministry of Narcotics Control has already developed a mobile app titled “zindagi” so that youth could be sensitized about narcotics hazards as well as treatment and rehabilitation facilities.

He said the government of Pakistan in collaboration with UNODC and other international agencies was making committed efforts to tackle menace of drugs.

“I am happy to state that with sustained efforts, Pakistan has maintained status of ‘Poppy Free State’ since 2001. Pakistan is signatory to all global conventions and protocols for control of drug abuse and illicit trafficking and continues to play its due role whenever, wherever required.”

In a message, UNODC Executive Director’s Ghada Fathi Waly said this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking shines a spotlight on the impact of drug Challenges in health and humanitarian crisis.

“Conflicts, climate disasters, forced displacement and grinding poverty create fertile ground for drug abuse - with COVID-19 making a bad situation even worse. At the same time, people living through humanitarian emergencies are far less likely to have access to the care and treatment they need and deserve.”

She said on this World Drug Day International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, we renew our commitment to ending this scourge and supporting those who fall victim to it.”

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