Drug trafficking in schools

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Educational institutions across Pakistan have become a major hub of drug users. Out of the estimated 9 million drug addicts in the country, approximately 2 million are believed to be between the ages of 15 and 25. This is bound to attract drug traffickers who are looking for opportunities to sell their stuff mostly to elite schools and colleges where affordability is no problem.

Parents along with school administrations seem either oblivious or least bothered about the fact that children are getting hooked on to hardcore drugs like ice, cocaine and crystal meth. The widespread availability of drugs seems to be the biggest factor that has contributed to the drug culture in the country. In a bid to put an end to this, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) has said it will establish composite teams to launch a stern crackdown on drug traffickers in educational institutions. It is reassuring that some sort of accountability mechanism is in place and a landmark decision was taken after a meeting to review the performances of relevant agencies was held at the ANF headquarters.

Since the scale of the problem is massive, there must be a nationwide crackdown and a system whereby drug traffickers are deterred, identified, captured and punished. But before doing so, the team must experiment within one locality to identify any obstacles and shortcoming because not many chances will be provided to catch the perpetrators. Moreover, the police and the lower staff must be heavily monitored as they are more susceptible to bribery and corruption. Perhaps students could be made active stakeholders in the process. This will not only help catch traffickers directly from the source but will also help create awareness among the youth about the disastrous effects and consequences of buying, using and selling drugs.

The situation is a testament to the overall deteriorating culture of Pakistan where mental illness is on the rise and corruption is rampant. The authorities must do everything within their powers to save the youth and hence the future of Pakistan from such a tragic ordeal.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2022.

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