Pakistan vows strong counter-narcotics coop. with Iran

TEHRAN, Jan. 05 (MNA) – Pakistan’s Minister for Narcotics Control Ijaz Ahmed Shah welcomed Iran’s bilateral and regional initiatives to combat drug trafficking and pledged to further strengthen Islamabad’s cooperation with Tehran.

Ijaz Ahmad Shah hosted Brigadier General Majid Karimi, the head of the Anti-Narcotics Police of the Islamic Republic of Iran and his accompanying delegation in Islamabad on Tuesday.

During the meeting, the Pakistani minister said, "Counter-narcotics is of global importance because today we see serious harm to communities and the young generation due to the drug use.”

"Each country may have its own methods and approach in tackling the drug problem, but in Pakistan, we are looking to cut off drug demand, and if demand is stopped, the combat against the supply and trafficking will become easier," he said.

Ejaz Ahmad Shah underlined the need to strengthen Iran-Pakistan border cooperation and welcomed Iran’s initiatives and proposals to effectively combat drug trafficking.

The Pakistani minister added, "We are trying to identify and cut off demand in Quetta, the closest region to the Iranian borders, and in addition, we seek the exchange of information between the two countries and the strengthening of cooperation between relevant institutions."

He also pledged to follow up and plan with the Pakistan Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) on the fate of three Iranian border guards abducted by drug traffickers and transferred to Pakistan.

General Karimi, for his part, expressed Iran’s readiness to develop cooperation with Pakistan in this regard.

"Our main problem today is the increase in narcotics production in the region, while the presence of some Western forces under the pretext of fighting terrorism has caused many difficulties in this regard,” the Iranian general said.

He said Iran and Pakistan are victims of the drug problem and at the same time play an active role in the front line of this struggle.

“So, there is a need for more coordination from the Pakistani side on the common border to deal effectively with drug traffickers," he added.

Karimi also said Iran is ready to train Pakistani forces, adding that “considering the strong capabilities of the anti-narcotics forces in Iran, we are ready to exchange staff and experts between the two countries."

MR/IRN84174177

News Code 168117

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