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Rise Of Drugs And HIV Cases In Karachi Pakistan

It has been reported by the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF) in Karachi that there are more than fifty drug trafficking networks operating in Karachi. These networks have targetted poverty stricken women and young children to carry drugs from one country to another. These networks have use a cunning way to conceal the drugs being carried by inserting them inside the body. This makes it easier to travel to the airport since there are no special machineries to x-ray human bodies for drugs.

Recently on November 20th, an 18 year old woman called Naila was arrested by the police at Karachi airport, for carrying hundred capsules of heroine inside her body. She was due to take a flight to Malaysia where the drugs were going to be peddled. She is one of the many cases ANF have come across in Karachi. ANF mostly work on tip offs that confirms the suspects are carrying drugs.

The smugglers in Karachi are known to get drugs from Peshawar and Quetta, which are originally brought from Afghanistan. The locals in Karachi are fed up with their poverty stricken lives become easy targets for these networks. Most of these locals are sent to Malaysia but some go to China, Bangkok and other countries. In Pakistan one kilogram of heroine costs RS 0.2 to 0.4 million which converts to RS 10 million in the international market. These networks get a commision of $3.5 to $5 on each gram of heroine and each capsule carries one gram of heroine. It is dangerous for the carrier to have capsules smuggled inside their body in the case of heroin leaking, which can immediately kill the person.

It is unsurprising that a country riddled by poverty has led people to take drastic measures. Naila is just one of the young women caught in the world of drug trafficking. A few days ago, two sisters Azra and Bushra Shaheen were caught at Karachi airport for smuggling drugs into their suitcases as they waited to board a flight to Kathmandu.

There has been a rise in HIV cases in Karachi due to drugs needles. According to Salman Safdar, UNAIDS Pakistan, there has been a reported 2353 cases of HIV in Sindh and 167 AIDs cases. He also reported 56 AIDs related deaths in the province.  In Pakistan on whole, 30 percent of the drug addicts who use needles, contract HIV/AID, of which 7.5 percent are male sex workers and 3 percent are transgender sex workers.

AIDS/HIV are still considered taboo issues in Pakistan and there are NGOs who are promoting awareness and education. According to one NGO NACP, AIDs/HIV cases are predominantly at a higher level in Pakistan than in any other Asian countries.

Minister for Health, Mir Aijaz Hussain Jakhrani has said that steps will be taken to improve health care delivery system in Pakistan and HIV/AIDs control programme will be given the utmost priority.

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