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October 9, 2017

Police, bureaucracy lock horns over another act

Peshawar

October 9, 2017

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police authorities have expressed serious reservations over the proposed creation of a special force by the Excise and Taxation Department to go after drug sellers and smugglers.

Instead, it suggested creating an anti-narcotics directorate within the police force.

The provincial bureaucracy has drafted a proposed act to be passed by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly under which a special anti-narcotics force will be set up in the Excise Department to go exclusively after the drug sellers, smugglers and producers. Under the act, police and the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) will have no role in hunting down the drug business.

The police, however, have expressed anger as to how it can be stopped from going after those involved in the drug business. Under the act, the police will not be able to lodge any drug case.

“The KP Police had lodged 38,462 cases against the drug sellers and smugglers in 2016 while the number till mid-September this year is 28,846. As many as 38,000 people were arrested last year while 30,736 have been held during the current year,” a police official said while explaining the performance of the force against the drug business. The recovery this year includes 16 kilograms of ice (meth), 510 kg heroin, 264 kg opium and 12,368 kg hashish.

The Excise department authorities have been arguing that the new act will help eradicate the menace of drugs from the society. They believe that like the police every department has the right to do legislation for improving the system.

“The matter was taken up with the chief minister who has directed the authorities to consult all the concerned departments over the issue,” a source in the police department said. He argue that the tussle between the police and Excise and Taxation department and other departments will hamper the operations against the drug sellers and smugglers.

“The authority to issue driving licence was snatched from the police and given to the Transport Department a few years ago. Thousands of people suffered due to this decision for years. And now both of the departments are issuing licences, one to the commercial vehicles and the other to the regular motorists,” said a source.

The police have offered to set up a special anti-narcotics directorate under a deputy inspector general of police in Peshawar, supported by a grade-17 officer and his team at the district level.

“The police already have a proper setup, manpower and experience in dealing with the drug smugglers,” said a senior police official.

 

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