Pak, China to take joint drug-free steps


By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and China Friday agreed to wage joint efforts to turn the region free from the menace of drugs.
The promise was made during a meeting between Minister of State for States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) and Narcotics Control, Shehryar Khan Afridi and Deputy Chief of Mission (DCM) Chinese Embassy, Pang Chunxue here at the Ministry of Narcotics Control. Shehryar Afridi said China, Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) should be turned into the first drug free route of the world and Pakistan had fortified its borders to choke down narcotics trade, said a press release issued here.  “In Narcotics Control, we need to learn from best practices of China and need to enter into collaboration to stop the flow of illicit drug trade as synthetic drugs are targeting our youth,” he said. He said that Kohat was gateway to Southern districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Chinese investments in Kohat would help generate thousands of jobs around the western route of the CPEC.
He said the western route of the CPEC provided the shortest route to Gwadar.
Pakistan had developed the world’s biggest databank on criminals involved in drugs and money laundering, he said. While talking on the occasion, Pang said China and Pakistan had made very good progress in the CPEC’s second phase. “We are focusing on industrial cooperation, agriculture development and social sector,” she said.
Under the second phase of CPEC, the work has been in progress on the establishment of Special Economic Zones that will provide job opportunities for local youth which will bring about regional development.