ANF blames Afghans for Pakistan’s ill-repute
LAHORE: Afghans drug traffickers using fake Pakistani passports have besmirched the reputation of Pakistan, director general of the Anti-Narcotics Force said Wednesday.
Speaking at the Bohar Walla Crossing Haji Camp, Major General Zafar Abbas blamed Afghans for the ill repute Pakistanis have won across the world. Mr Abbas said the poppy harvest in neighbouring Afghanistan stood at 185 tonnes in December 2001 and has now shot up to 3,400 tonnes. He said this did not bode well for Pakistan since most of the Afghan crop is smuggled through here.
Mr Abbas said he has spoken with the Afghan Interior minister in this regard. The director general added that around 120,000 Pakistanis would perform the Hajj this year. Of these 36,096 are residents of Lahore. Mr Abbas said the prospective Hajjis would be flown out on 350 flights (310 Pakistan International Airlines flights and 40 Saudi). Ten Saudi and 75 PIA flights will leave from Lahore.
Mr Abbas said ANF officials would screen the baggage of every single passenger making his or her way to the Hajj. ANF will put special stickers on all baggage that is cleared and will be held responsible if any drugs or illegal materials are found in such bags.
He said no intending Hajji had been arrested for drugs possession in Saudi Arabia in the last four years. And only “four to five” arrests have been made since ANF took over the task of screening Hajjis, said Mr Abbas.