Pakistan

PM’s advisor approves formation of committee to curb drug trafficking at airports

ISLAMABAD: Advisor to Prime Minister on Aviation Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan on Friday approved a Central Operational Committee in order to restrict drugs trafficking and ensure foolproof security at all airports across the country.

The committee would be under the supervision of Director General Civil Aviation accompanied by high officials of all concerned departments. It was also decided to seek services of proficient legal experts to ensure efficient prosecution and counter cases of breach at airports.

This decision was taken in a meeting after the reported incident of recovery of narcotics in Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight at Heathrow airport in London.  The advisor said the incident was regrettable and was a matter of integrity and prestige of country.

Addressing the meeting, Sardar Mehtab expressed concern that such incidents were dusted at all times in the past, which let the black sheep to escape.  He said that such acts cannot be tolerated or ignored at any cost and the culprits behind the disgraceful act will be in the court of law.

He stressed there should be a strong mechanism to hold an impartial inquiry and to keep a proper record of accused people and their networks, but requires swift investigation and accountability. He also expressed determination to uplift the standards of PIA by focusing on the induction of modern technology at airports practiced by developed countries.

The advisor was briefed by officials of all departments that there is no communication from British authorities on narcotic recovery from PIA aircraft in London.

It was suggested that entry of irrelevant persons should be banned in the engineering section of all airports, while the activities of the workers should be monitored with the help of CCTV cameras and biometric system.

It was also decided that to minimise the security issues, all planes should be thoroughly checked after they arrive back from the engineering section after required maintenance.

Anti-Narcotics Force informed about efforts to actively keeping an eye on the narcotics smuggling across the country, and a mechanism has been made to check cargo to minimise such incidents in the future. It was also suggested that aircraft checking should be made from engineering till the runway.

ANF shared that Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has captured different cases actively pursued in the courts.  The Custom officials informed that nine thousand employees are rendering services at different airports of the country.

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