Pakistani minister pledges to strengthen anti-narcotics cooperation with Iran

Islamabad, Jan 5, IRNA -- Pakistan's Minister for Narcotics Control welcoming the bilateral and regional initiatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran to combat drug trafficking, has pledged to further strengthen Pakistan's cooperation with Iran.

Ejaz Ahmad Shah expressed these views during a meeting with an Iranian delegation headed by Chief of Iran's Anti-Narcotics Police Brigadier-General Majid Karimi in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Pakistan, Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini, Secretary Anti-Narcotics Control Shoaib Dastagir, Colonial Omid Sarwari, Iran’s DLO in Pakistan and some senior officials of the Ministry for Narcotics Control also attended the meeting.

Welcoming the Iranian delegation, the Pakistani Minister for Narcotics Control referred to his background in the field of anti-narcotics and services in the border areas of Pakistan and Iran.

He added the fight against narcotics is of global importance because today we see serious harm to communities and the young generation.

"Each country may have its own methods and approach to curb the illicit drug problem, but in Pakistan we are looking to cut the illicit drug demand, and if demand is stopped, supply and trafficking will also be stopped," he said.

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

He added: We are trying to identify and cut the narcotics demand in Quetta, the area close to the border with Iran, and in addition, we demand the exchange of information between the two countries and the strengthening of cooperation between relevant institutions.

The Pakistani Minister for Narcotics Control also promised to follow up the fate of three Iranian border guards abducted by drug traffickers and transferred to Pakistan with the Pakistan Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF).

**Iran seeks more Pakistani coordination on the border

Brigadier-General Majid Karimi stressed the readiness of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Iran’s Anti-Narcotics Police to expand cooperation with Pakistan's friendly and neighboring country.

Welcoming the issues raised by the Pakistani minister, he said: Our main problem today is the increase in poppy production in the region. He added the attack of some countries under the pretext of fighting terrorism has increased the illicit drug problem.

Chief of Iran's Anti-Narcotics Police emphasized: We have the capacity to face this challenge, but it is necessary to further strengthen relations and bilateral cooperation between the Anti-Narcotics Forces of Iran and Pakistan.

He stressed Iran and Pakistan are victims of the drug problem and at the same time have an active role in the front line of this fight, so there is a need for more coordination from the Pakistani side on the common border to deal effectively with drug traffickers.

Brigadier-General Majid Karimi called for an immediate response of Pakistani forces at the common border if any incident of smuggling occurs.

He said Iran is ready to train Pakistani forces and considering the strong capabilities of anti-narcotics force officers in Iran, we are ready to exchange staff and experts between the two countries.

Chief of Iran's Anti-Narcotics Police called on the Pakistani Minister of Narcotics Control to raise the issue of three Iranian border guards abducted by smugglers in Pakistan’s Balochistan.

Brigadier-General Majid Karimi also visited Pakistan Anti-Narcotics Force Academy in Islamabad after the meeting and then left for the southern city of Karachi to meet with Director General of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency.

272**1424

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