To mark International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking that is observed on June 26, civil society and political activists in Karachi’s Baloch neighbourhoods started a three-day awareness campaign against increasing crime, particularly open sale of narcotics.
Various social and student groups under the banner of the Baloch Yakjehti Committee distributed pamphlets in various Baloch-populated areas of Lyari, Golimar, Faqir Colony, Mauripur, Hawke’s Bay, Malir, Gadap, Sharafi Goth, Bin Qasim and Manghopir to create awareness about the menace of drugs.
They stated that drug peddlers had been running their nefarious activities in every part of Lyari and other areas of Baloch population in the city. These areas were riddled not only with drugs but their sellers as well and their nefarious activities pose a threat to the health and well-being of the youth and their families, said the campaigners.
They argued that efforts to cleanse the localities of numerous crimes, including the drug trade, had not been very successful because of the nexus between the drug mafia, and government and law enforcement officials.
Zahid Barakzai, a member of the Lyari Awami Mahaz that is also supporting the campaign, said that the campaigns was started on Friday and local activists in the Baloch-populated neighbourhoods had distributed pamphlets, organised walks and met the elders of their areas to create awarenss about the drug abuse and urge the authorities, including the police, to take action against drug peddling.
Poverty, unemployment, illiteracy, lack of civic amenities and years of neglect have turned Lyari into a breeding ground for social evils, with drug addiction being the most harmful of them. “Although peace has returned to Lyari and other areas, including Mauripur, Golimar and Mawach Goth, now one of the main problems here is the sale of narcotics,” said a campaigner in Mauripur.
“Drugs are being sold openly in every Baloch locality without any fear and it is destroying the health and morale of youth,” he lamented.
In Lyari, parts of the Chakiwara, Singu Lane, Aath Chowk, Nawa Lane and Shah Beg Lane neighbourhoods are allegedly the hub of drug peddlers where addicts could be seen wandering in narrow lanes to buy various types of narcotics, activists said.