A legislative committee of the National assembly (NA) has agreed to develop laws mandating drug testing for admissions, which would help reduce drug prevalence in Pakistan’s educational institutions.
The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) addressed the NA Standing Committee on Narcotics Control on Monday about their efforts to restrict drug supply near schools, colleges, and universities.
ANF officers stated that they seized 7.5 kg of ice, 9 kg of heroin, 18 kg of opium, and 116 kg of hashish, during raids surrounding educational institutions in 2022. In addition, they revealed that 63 people were detained in association with these activities.
Committee member Aliya Kamran voiced concern about the issue, questioning the source of the narcotics and how they get into educational institutions. As a response, Committee Chairman Salahuddin Ayubi proposed obligatory drug testing of incoming students as part of the admissions process. But, Aliya, a committee member, highlighted that such a move would need legislation.
As per Sabio Sikandar Jalal, Deputy Secretary for the Anti-Narcotics ministry, the Senate Standing Committee on Narcotics adopted a bill for the creation of vigilance committees to combat drug use and sale in educational institutions. The measure would be introduced in the Senate before being forwarded to the relevant NA committee for approval.
The committee members decided to amend the measure to include a clause for drug testing at the admission stage and to repeat such tests after two months, or to introduce a new bill if required. The prevalence of drug addiction at educational institutions is concerning, and policymakers are adopting appropriate strategies for reducing it.