A committee of lawmakers has agreed to draft legislation to make drug testing mandatory for admission to educational institutions in order to curb the menace of drug addiction in Pakistan’s schools, colleges and universities.
Officials from the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) briefed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Narcotics Control on Monday on efforts to prevent drug supply around educational institutions in the country. They apprised the committee about the actions taken so far against those found involved, Daily Information Times reported.
The meeting was chaired by committee chairman Salahuddin Ayubi.
ANF officials informed the committee that 160 kilograms of drugs were recovered in operations around educational institutions in 2022. They said that 63 suspects were arrested while drugs—including 116 kg of hashish, 18 kg of opium, nine kg of heroin and seven and a half kg of ice—were recovered during the operations.
Terming the situation alarming, committee member Aliya Kamran expressed concern over drug use in educational institutions. She questioned where the drugs were coming from and how they reach the country’s schools.
Chairman Ayubi suggested mandatory drug testing of prospective students during the admissions stage. Committee member Aliya said that such a measure would require legislation.
Deputy Secretary for the Ministry of Anti-Narcotics Sabio Sikandar Jalal said the Senate Standing Committee on Narcotics has approved a bill for the formation of vigilance committees to prevent the use and supply of drugs in educational institutes, adding that it would now be presented in Senate after which it will be moved to the concerned NA committee as well for approval.
The members agreed that the provision of drug testing at the time of admissions and conducting such tests again after two months would be added to the committee’s bill or, if required, a new bill would be presented.
Earlier this month, The Daily Information Times reported that every tenth student in the country is suffering from substance addiction, while every second educational institution has allegedly become a hotbed of drugs, according to a report prepared by experts in psychology and social styles.
The report reveals that educational institutions have become the safest place for students of all backgrounds to take substances out of compulsion or to reduce mental stress.
According to the report, these institutions have no effective mechanism stop the students falling prey to the substance addiction and sometimes, these incidents are ignored to protect the educational institutions from disrepute.