Gilgit - Baltistan

Drugs: How safe is Hunza – Gojal!

by Noor

The world celebrates International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking on June 26th every year, striving to create a global society that is free of drug abuse. Drug abuse and illicit trafficking of drugs have emerged as a catastrophic trend in our society, as well. Every day young people start using drugs of various kinds and, in the process, destroy their own lives, the lives of their families, destroying the dream of creating a healthy and prosperous human society.

Alcoholism, sadly, has been destroying lives across our society. Not all countries have enough alcohol rehab facilities to accommodate all cases of alcoholism in their area.

Cheap and unhealthy alcohol is smuggled from the People’s Republic of China and sold across Gilgit – Baltistan. At an average, while Khunjerab pass is open, approximately five hundred bottles of alcohol are sold in the border towns of Gojal Valley, according to people who have a keen eye on such affairs. A bottle costs somewhere between 350-500, on average and during the season, which runs for around six months, thousands of bottles of alcohol are consumed by men and children of all age. The law enforcing organizations not only turn a blind eye to this illegal trade they, at times, are also part of the business.

But ‘imported’ alcohol is not the only menace destroying our society. There are traditiaonl factories operating in central and lower Hunza, producing thousands of litters of ‘Desi’ alcohol and selling it to the consumers. Some efforts were made by the police officials in central and lower Hunza to curb the menace but no long term strategy seems to be in place.

Alcohol is not the only drug hollowing our society, however. Charas, nowadaysis also easily available and consumed by a growing number of young adults and youth. Charas reaches Gilgit – Baltistan from the NWFP, passing through the Karakuram Highway, under the eyes and nose of the law enforcing agencies. Truck drivers, cobblers, hair dressers – mostly belonging to the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), have introduced and are supplying this killer drug to the youth and young adults, alike.

There is a need to not only debate and take serious measrues to stop this systematic destruction of our society but also to aggressive campaign against the people and organizations behind the trade. Creating awareness among the children, youth, parents and other members of the society can help but it will never solve the problem.

Making the law makers and law enforcers realize their duties, and ensuring imposition of the state laws, in a stern and unbending manner, alone, can curb the evil in a systematic way.

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  1. I think this is a very important issue that needs lots of discussions, deliberations and more importantly ACTIONS. Drug abuse is growing inadvertantly leaving the lives of individuals and their families at stake. The ultmiate prey to such habits is the whole society. This is a sort of human-made hazard that can sweep the whole society any day. So it i needs a watchful prudence and pragmatic solution. To begin with, all family members of an affected person need to be very proactive. Ofcourse, the major responsibility lies on the law enforcement agencies who have to take stern actions in this regard. Civil society organzations have been wary of this issue and in certain parts of our area, rehabilitation work was also done to get rid of this evil. However it did not work becuase this requires a system of check and balance of who provides and who consumes. If our systems are fair and free of concessions, I think we can get rid of this menace and save our future generations.

  2. There are very strict farameens of Imam-e Zaman on this topic, there’s no two opinions, alcohol and tobacco are bad and goes against the wishes of Imam if someone indulges in them. It is not that people shouldn’t do it because it is against the religion, but these practices are just scientifically proven to be injurious and the foresight of Imam has warned us long before the recent medical studies.

  3. the best gift of god is life which is given to human being to use that just for the batterment of yourself and family and the society in wich you leave but in the modren world our society is getting change day by day in the terms of drugs and most of our population is getting involved in this business directly and indirectly our rural society is still little far from these situation,s which we are seeing in urban areas the advantage is just our education and we have awareness about it other wise we are the next to face this the big cause of the drug adiction is poverty and other social issues in urban areas as we have observed we are lucky we have every thing..EDUCATION, GUIDENCE ,LEADERSHIP AWARENESS..which are the advantages of our rural societies and still we are safe of these hazard,s other wise we do the same which is recentlly going on in urban areas and this is very important topic to discuss this and work for the batterment of our society to safe our comming genration and guide them to spend thealthy life in society the we are safe….

    Didar Karim Bari
    NUML university islamabad

  4. It realy stunned every body by seeing the snap, depicitng a very dangrous drug abuse……

    The article simpley speaks about alcohol abuse… but the peron on the snap is using herorin…. the henius….

    I do not think that person is from Gojal or from any part of Hunza…. if it is…. too dangrious ….

  5. Good attempt Noor, you are right, Drugs have really distroyed norms and values of our society, the general prospective for many people is that drugs seem to make them feel better mentally or emotionally. In some cases, starting with one drug can lead to the use of other drugs. Some drugs require larger and larger amounts to produce the same effect. Some people take additional drugs to help them reduce the unpleasant effects of the drugs they are already misusing. Eventually a person may take too much of a drug to feel the same effect, the reasons are more complex than just a warm feeling. Adolescents want desperately to be accepted by their friends and are likely to imitate the behavior of their peers, including drinking and taking drugs, to gain acceptance.Youngs with low self-esteem are especially susceptible. They often use alcohol and drugs to feel more comfortable around others. They can alleviate shyness and relieve nervousness.
    The issue of drug addiction is often overshadowed by many of the society’s other human development problems, such as poverty, illiteracy and lack of basic health care.

    But if we study drug abuse in Hunza- Gojal, we come to know that our well educated & literate segment is abruptly engaged in such activities, which is really an alaraming situation.
    To stop our youth from involving in such activities every one of us must work for creating awareness and take some strict action as and where required.
    For this purpose i think we must develop social competence, which will enable our youth to function effectively in society activities focusing on helping them to develop self-confidence, self-esteem, interpersonal skills, clear and purposeful goals and values, self-control and the ability to build and maintain healthy peer relationships. Secondly we have to work on making our events (Sports ) Drug free, coz it is surprising to note that our Players during the game are proudly using Drugs. Thus we have to take some strict action to kick off this evil from our society.

    Hope For A Better Future Generation

  6. Dear Noor,
    A very crucial and important issue you have raised and the points you have made are really based on realities.
    The culture of alcoholism has unnecessarily captured many minds and has changed the normality of the youth.
    The sub-standard alcoholic stuff being smuggled from China has really deteriorating effects and if not stopped at this stage would become tumerous.
    Many youth members are of the view that alcohol is a source of contentment and can make a difference.I would like to make it very clear that it paralyses the nerves for short intervals but the long term effects are really bad and destructive.
    Even in alcohol there are categories what I have read in my course but what we are using is not properly labelled and thoroughly checked for toxins and other problem creating things.
    The thing that really surprizes me is the ones who don’t have even a single penny to spend for his day to day routine life matters sounds strong in sparing 300 for a single substandard stuff.
    We are far behind from the developed world and it doesn’t suit us in real sense to imitate them and is not even allowed by the religion.
    I am really sorry to say that still we do not understnad the requirements of the time and the emergent needs.
    We need to focus on the areas that could lead us to prosperity and not on those that really create social disbalance and fluctuations in the system for no constructive purposes.
    Sorry If I have hurted anyone but these are the realities that ought to be considered.
    Aslam Ghalib

  7. The use of drug is no doubt on increase among our youth. And that is becoming permanent part of their personalities which is off course a great concern for us. The history says that the most easy and convenient way to destroy a nation is make them a drug addict. China is the biggest example.
    In Gojal I believe that awareness already exist among most of the youth about the hazards of the drugs and smoking, like through the religious and other source. But the interesting thing is that despite the awareness still youth is consuming it at large. What could be the reason for that? I believe that there are multiple reasons behind this. Though many people are of the opinion that, that lake of awareness is the main reason behind this , though it is true to some extent but at the same time we should also focus on other reasons like growing frustration among the youth I believe is the major reason behind the use of drug by the young generation. In our fast changing society most of our youth are unable to digest the dynamics or unable to meet the challenges of the present age due to many reasons and as a result found them self in no mans land. When one is in such situation they find drug their best and reliable friend.
    Apart from the law enforcement agencies and other institution, as a member of the society we also have responsibility to discourage the use of drugs among the community like we can take small steps to discourage the use of drugs and alcohol impose bane on sell of cigarette in village shops so that everybody could not access it easily. During tournaments we should bane such player who are smoking or drug addict. Though thes are very small steps but can be very effective and these can be implemented through the local bodies. And the most important thing is that we need to concentrate on our youth and try to indulge them in positive activities by creating opportunities for them.

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