New Delhi: The Minister of State (MoS) for Home Affairs, G. Kishan Reddy, presided over the valedictory session of the ‘Conference on Combating Drug Trafficking’ for BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) Partner Nations in New Delhi yesterday.
Addressing the session, Reddy said that the menace of drug trafficking can be controlled only by the concerted efforts of the affected nations by sharing the experiences and information, adding that this multi-dimensional menace can be tackled by comprehensive attack and strategy with a joint and coordinated approach.
Reddy expressed hope that over the past two days the conference discussed many important facts and issues in detail while focusing on the emerging challenges.
MoS Reddy said that the drug trafficking menace is common to all nations of the world as has the capacity to destabilize economies and its impact is equally visible at the level of the single individual destroying families and the social fabric.
Talking about the steps taken by Government of India in combating drug trafficking, Reddy said that the Govt has laid down a well thought out strategy to increase coordination among the agencies of the Centre as well as States, and the Home Ministry has established a joint coordination committee to increase surveillance over drug trafficking. He said India is committed to combat drug trafficking through greater regional cooperation.
The Minister said that the relation between BIMSTEC countries are beyond diplomatic relations as they have centuries-old, deep cultural and traditional ties, adding that, however, they all face similar maritime security threats. The issues of terrorism and drug trafficking have increased manifold through the maritime route and this makes coordination among these nations all the more important, Reddy noted.
The Secretary MSJ&E, R. Subrahmanyam; Secretary East, BIMSTEC, Vijay Thakur Singh; DG Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Rakesh Asthana; DG of GISF; and other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.
Earlier in the week, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had quoted the UN’s World Drug Report and said that over 5% of the global population between 15-64 years of age is addicted to narcotics and the use of illicit drugs, mentioning that India has a zero tolerance policy to drug trafficking.