Pakistan expands drug abuse network in PoK
Islamabad, July 13 (IANS) Pakistan has made innumerable promises to its occupied region of Kashmir in the past but never fulfilled any.
The promise to give it complete 'Azadi' (freedom) from its clutches, to develop infrastructure, education and healthcare facilities etc., have always ended in a sham.
The same Pakistan is now busy selling the dream project of "freedom and self-determination" to the Kashmiris in India, while its own territory of so-called "Azad Jammu-Kashmir" is parading the streets back home shouting slogans "We want freedom, Pakistan Army go back".
It is no secret that Pakistan administration has neglected the basic human rights of the occupied Kashmir region. Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) is a territory to garner world sympathy for a cause, a cause they are still trying to prove to the world through a network of lies and deceit.
Since its inception, 'Azad Kashmir' is only Azad in its name. Everything else about it is a series of unfortunate events, neglect and oppression. Unemployment, poverty and drug abuse -- the vicious cycle, is an everyday story here. The Gilgit-Baltistan region of PoK is known as the 'suicide capital' of Pakistan; 90 per cent of the suicides point to this colonised state.
Pakistan's ISI fear that the youth of PoK may spoil its evil plan; thus it has embarked upon a policy to incapacitate the youth of PoK by pushing them into a spiral of drug abuse.
Ever since the Taliban has come to power in Afghanistan, drug smuggling (heroin, crystal meth, etc.) to neighbouring countries like Pakistan is commonplace. The free inflow of drugs has made PoK the rising drug hub. Despite inflation in the country, the drugs are sold at low prices and with wide accessibility. It would not be unimaginable to think of this situation as a premeditated catastrophe.
Crystal meth (popularly known as Ice) is an intoxicating drug made from a chemical compound called 'Methamphetamine' or 'Ephedrine'. Ice is produced in Afghanistan in large quantities through a widely grown plant known as 'Ephedra'. Recently BBC Urdu reported that Taliban-dominated areas in Afghanistan had an array of small factory set-ups to convert Ephedra into crystal meth. They were a significant source of income for them. These factories are now opening up on every street corner since the Taliban has come to power.
Ice adversely affects the nervous system. A person becomes twice as active, loses attention, is unable to make decisions, and loses sleep and weight drastically. The person develops a violent sexual orientation. A dealer from the border area of Poonch, who has been active in the jihad of Afghanistan and Kashmir in the past, says that ice was used as a medicine for 'mujahideen'. It would make a person numb to physical, mental and emotional tortures. The user could go through any adversity after having this, and that's why it is given to suicide bombers.
In another incident a reputed marijuana vendor in the suburb of Rawalakot admits that youngsters prefer ice and heroin to marijuana because it is cheaper and the pleasure of its intoxication is higher. Ice was once priced at Rs 8,000 and above but today it costs merely Rs 2,000 to Rs 5,000.
Pakistan maintains such law and order in the prime areas of Rawalakot, Hajira and other suburban villages and towns that vehicles containing weaponry and drugs pass through Pakistan to PoK "illegally" through 'jugaad'. The easiest and most well-known way to smuggle ice is to melt it and bring it in mineral water bottles. And everybody seems to know this type of jugaad. Why? A drug dealer from the neighbouring village of Tharad admits that police provide him and others in this business with the drugs! Half of the ice sales are made to policemen. The police themselves have a drug problem in Pakistan.
Pakistan's laws against drug abuse are so stringent that it allows the free flow of Afghanis to PoK without any identification. Once they reach PoK, Pakistan serves them with legal permits and genuine identity cards.
When the administration and the judiciary are the problems, why will they take action against drug abuse and suicide rates in PoK? The students of The University of Poonch have alleged that policemen blackmail students from whom drugs are recovered, and extort huge sums of money from them.
Ice lures youngsters towards extremism. Murder, blackmail, kidnapping, and torture of students in PoK is rising rapidly. So is the case with terrorism; terrorist recruitment is directly proportional to drug abuse. And the death of young, innocent blood is a part of the parcel. It has been reported that more than 64 per cent of youth joining terrorism are killed within a year.
In the past few years when a proxy war was orchestrated in the name of Kashmir jihad, heroin ran through the veins of the public like a river. The educated PoK youth that once stood up against the Pakistani government were made heroin victims. There is a conspiracy to paralyse the youth. No one speaks about PoK because the slow elimination of the resistance is in the interest of the rich and powerful circles of Pakistan. The re-installation of the Taliban Emirate in Kabul paired with the free hand of the Pakistani Army is a recipe for disaster in PoK.