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Saturday, November 27, 2010
Iran, Pakistan on frontline in war on drugs
Tehran Times Political Desk
TEHRAN – Iran and Pakistan are on the frontline in the war on illicit drugs, Iran’s interior minister said on Thursday.
Both countries should increase cooperation in order to stop the production and smuggling of illegal drugs, Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said.
Najjar made the remarks in a meeting with Pakistani Minister for Narcotics Control Arbab Muhammad Zahir in Islamabad.
As long as the narcotics are produced in Afghanistan, insecurity and terrorism will exist in the region, Najjar added.
Afghanistan produces about 90 percent of the world’s opium, much of it smuggled through Pakistan and Iran, in an industry estimated to be worth almost three billion dollars a year.
Iran and Pakistan can utilize their potential to stop the smuggling of the drugs, the Iranian minister stated.
The two nations should cooperate to devise plans to prevent producing drug raw materials, to crack down on smugglers, thugs and demolish laboratories located in the border areas where heroin is produced, he noted.
He also said Tehran and Islamabad should exchange information on the places in the border areas where drugs are manufactured.
Iran has spent over 800 million dollars in fight against drug traffickers, 3700 of Iranian police officers have been killed and 11000 people have been injured during fights with the drug traffickers, he noted.
Iran has also constructed walls along the joint Iran-Afghan border to prevent smuggling drugs, he added.
Najjar called on the United Nations and other international entities to provide Iran the equipment needed for the fight against drug smuggling.
Pakistani minister, for his part, thanked Iran for its help to flood-victims, saying such help showed there are numerous commonalties between the two nations.
Zahir also said Islamabad expects the UN to provide Pakistan and Iran more military equipment and forces in fight drugs.
Photo: Afghanistan's Minister of Counter Narcotics Zarar Ahmad Moqbil (L), Pakistani Minister for Narcotics Control Arbab Muhammad Zahir (C) and Iran’s Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar (R) address a joint press conference after the triangular annual meeting on drug control in Islamabad on November 25, 2010. (Getty Images)