Safron suggests govt seek permission to grow poppy | Pakistan Today

Safron suggests govt seek permission to grow poppy

ISLAMABAD – The Standing Committee of Senate on States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON) Wednesday asked the government to negotiate and seek permission from the United Nations and the world community for poppy cultivation in the country for medicinal purposes.
“Poverty in FATA and some regions of the Khyber Pukhtunkwa is extremely high and their land is very fertile for poppy cultivation. Given the economic vulnerability of the people, the government should negotiate with the world to get permission for poppy cultivation in the area because it is allowed in India and Turkey for medicinal purposes,” Senator Hafiz Rashid Ahmed said while talking to reporters after the committee’s meeting.
He said that the committee also recommended that parliamentarians should be involved in different development projected being funded by international donors in FATA region.
Earlier, briefing the committee on donors funding in FATA, Additional Secretary of SAFRON said that different projects worth Rs 87 billion were being implemented in FATA. He also said that donors had their own working mechanism and the ministry had little or no role.
He also said that only lawmakers could ask the government for the inclusion of the parliamentarians in the development project and ministry could not do anything in this regard. The chairman directed the official to submit record of the last three years with complete details of the donors’ funding and their projects.
Director General Headquarters Anti-Narcotics Brig Akhtar said that poppy cultivation in Pakistan was almost zero and all drugs were smuggled from across the border.
He said that Poppy was also cultivated in Sindh region lying between Khuzdar and Shahdadpur districts. He said destroying poppy crop was responsibility of the provincial government. The committee was also told that before 1950 poppy cultivation was allowed in Pakistan.

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