A letter of intent was signed between ANF and Tobacco Free Capital Project of the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHRSC) as part of a national drive for making smoke-free zone.
The ceremony was held at Headquarters Anti Narcotics Force Building Rawalpindi. The ceremony was attended by Dr. Minhaj us Siraj Project Director/Deputy DG (Health) Directorate of Tobacco Control (NHSRC) Islamabad and five senior faculty members and Dr. Palitha Mahipala WHO representative/Head of Mission Pakistan and Director General Anti Narcotics Force Pakistan was also present in the ceremony. Director Muhammad Riaz Soomro represent ANF in signing of LOI.
He further highlighted that, this is the vibrant forum of cooperation between ANF and The team of Tobacco Smoke free cities and efforts of WHO for their interest in making five cities of Pakistan smoke free, which will serve as role model. ANF is striving hard to stop the smuggling of Narcotics through Pakistan and its spread in our society in general and youth in particular. Now our youth and especially educational intuitions are the main targets of these illicit traffickers. ANF being Premier drug Law enforcing is making all out efforts to eradicate this menace from our country. Today we have gathered here to sign letter of intent for making our country smoke and drug free. We will make all out efforts with the close cooperation of Health department and WHO.
Dr. Minhaj us Siraj Project Director/Deputy DG (Health) Directorate of Tobacco Control (NHSRC) Islamabad briefed the participants of the event that Pakistan is a tobacco growing, developing country, one third of male adults use tobacco in any form and over 166000 die of tobacco related diseases every year. He said that tobacco and drug use related burden of disease is of immense volume, in the country with fragile implementation of local laws and international treaties. He further stated that on preventive measures needed to be taken to control tobacco and from its harmful effects keeping in view limited resources. He emphasized on preventing youth from tobacco industries manipulations and provision of alternative mechanisms of tobacco crops especially in the KP. He said that both Tobacco Smoke-Free Capital Project and jointly conduct research on Tobacco Control related topics, generate local data and mechanisms to influence policy makers.
In his concluding remarks he said that as a nation we have to stay united for controlling tobacco use, preventing our youth and children from the menace of tobacco and thus making Pakistan a tobacco free country.
Mr. Ghulam Qadir Tehbo Deputy Director General Anti Narcotics Force welcome all the participants and his address he appreciate the efforts of Ministry of Health and WHO Head of Mission Pakistan on their joint and coordinated efforts to support the national cause to alert the General Public about hazards of smoke and its adverse effect on health, which will ultimately lead to drug addiction. He further emphasized that this LoI will serve as a landmark agreement towards achieving sustainable Development Goals in Pakistan’s context by creating awareness regarding Hazards of tobacco and drugs use and its adverse impacts on Nation’s economy and environment, observing tobacco control laws at ANF headquarters/Regional Directorates.
At the end Mr. Ghulam Qadir Thebo Deputy Director General inaugurated and installed an Acrylic Plate for declaring ANF Headquarters building smoke free zone.