Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has called for creating a regional mechanism for exchange of information and coordination and to establish a drug court in the region to fight the illicit drug trade.
Zardari, while speaking at the inaugural session of the Regional Ministerial Conference on Counter Narcotics at the presidency, said that heroin trade is linked with terrorist networks in the region, adding that money from heroin trade is being used to finance terror operations, reports The Express Tribune.
They are linked with arms smuggling, human trafficking and money-laundering...We will conquer the heroin trade only through collective action," Zardari was quoted, as saying.
He said the challenge requires close cooperation and proposed that the concerned offices should maintain real-time contact, for better coordination in dealing with illicit drug trafficking.
He said that, according to the UN, opium production has increased by over 3,000 per cent and revenues from heroin trade have also been steadily rising during the past decade.
Zardari said drugs trade has threatened to destroy national economies and undermines good governance by encouraging crime and corruption, and promotes violence.
"Heroin trade threatens us more than it threatens far-off lands. We must be the one to fight back and we must win this battle. Failure is no option," he said. (ANI)