India, Pak join hands to combat narcotics smuggling

India and Pakistan decided to exchange snoop information and modus operandi related to narcotics smuggling across their sensitive border.

Updated: Dec 05, 2012, 22:20 PM IST

New Delhi: India and Pakistan on Wednesday decided to exchange snoop information and modus operandi related to narcotics smuggling across their sensitive border.

A delegation of Pakistan`s Anti Narcotics Force (ANF), led by its chief Major General Malik Zafar Iqbal, is in India to hold talks with the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

"During the meeting, both sides shared a mutual concern regarding menace of drugs and resolved that coordinated approach will be the key to combat this problem. Both sides exchanged and updated the operational level contacts for sharing of real-time information and intelligence," said an official statement, issued after signing of documents between the two agencies.

NCB DG Ajay Chadha, during the media interaction, said, "We have shared our concerns whatever seizures have been on Indo-Pak border. ANF has also shared what action they have taken on the other side of the border and how much (narcotics) they have seized. They have assured full cooperation."

Both the departments, Chadha said, have decided to share the best practices with regard to criminals, seizures and de-addiction in this domain.

The teams said illegal transport of such contraband to and from Afghanistan, which produces 90 percent of Heroin in the world, is a cause of concern for their sleuths.

"Pakistan being a transit country is victim of this heroin (smuggling) itself and we also have problem within the country that we are fighting (with regard to drugs)," Iqbal said.

The anti-narcotics agencies said precursors like Acetic Anhydride are also on the radar of both the agencies.

A precursor is a chemical agent which is used to process drugs like heroin and increase their power to act as anti-depressants. The Pakistan authorities assured they would extend all cooperation to India in order to thwart instances of narcotics smuggling and its abuse.

"It`s important to address the concerns (of India) and whatever concerns have been shared with us we are already working on those. Considerable amount of effort in terms of introduction and enforcement have already been undertaken," Iqbal said.

"During the meeting, it was also agreed that the effectiveness of cooperation on drug matters largely depends on frequency of interaction. It was agreed to hold the next DG level talks in Pakistan on a mutually convenient date," the statement added.