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, nowadays, is 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.