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Anti Narcotics Force

In1957, the Pakistan Narcotics Board (PNB) was established in the Revenue Division to fulfill Pakistan’s obligations under the International Opium Convention of 1925. The PNB consisted of representatives from the provincial governments and some federal ministries and divisions. Pakistan ratified the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 on August 15, 1965. To meet its obligations under the said Convention, the government, through a declaration dated March 8, 1973, renamed PNB as the Pakistan Narcotics Control Board (PNCB).

In December 1991, the Anti Narcotics Task Force (ANTF) was established. In February 1995, PNCB and ANTF were merged to constitute the Anti Narcotics Force (ANF), which is now the premier law enforcement agency in the field of narcotics control in Pakistan. The ANF is assigned to:

  • Streamline coordination procedures among law enforcement agencies for implementation of international obligations.
  • Make earnest endeavours to attain a drug-free society.
  • Translate the government’s objectives into reality on issues pertaining to narcotics control. At present, Anti Narcotics Force is operating with 1,560 personnel as against an authorized strength of 3,100.

Other organizations associated with narcotics control are Airports Security Force, Pakistan Coast Guards, Customs, Provincial Excise and Taxation, Frontier Corps (NWFP and Balochistan), Frontier Constabulary, Pakistan Rangers (Punjab and Sindh), Political Levies/Khasadar Force, Provincial Police (North West Frontier Province, Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan) and Pakistan Railways Police.

In 1989, a separate division - the Narcotics Control Division - was established under the Ministry of Interior to exclusively deal with drug- related matters and in November 2002, it was notified as the Ministry of Narcotics Control.

To monitor and execute the federal government’s policy, a Policy Review Board exists at the federal level with the following composition:

1 Minister for Narcotics Control Chairman
2 Minister In-charge for Health and Social Welfare Member
3 Minister for Foreign Affairs Member
4 Minister of State for States and Frontier Regions Division Member
5 Governor, North West Frontier Province Member
6-9 Ministers In-charge of Provincial Home Departments Member
10-13 Ministers In-charge of Provincial Health Departments Member
14 Minister for Narcotics Control of North West Frontier Province Member
15 Secretary, Minister of Narcotics Control Member

To enhance the effectiveness of the coordinating role of the federal government and to ensure that narcotics interdiction by various law enforcement agencies proceeds under well-synchronized efforts, a Narcotics Interdiction Committee (NIC) has been set up with the following composition:

1 Secretary, Ministry of Narcotics Control Chairman
2-7 Inspector General of Police Punjab, Sindh, North West Frontier Province, Balochistan, AJK, Islamabad Capital Territory and Northern Areas Member
8-11 Heads of Federal Civil Armed Forces Member
12 Director General Federal Investigation Agency Member
13 Director General, Intelligence and Investigation (Custom and Excise), Revenue Division Member
14 Director General, Anti Narcotics Force Member


Anti Narcotics Force’s Charter of Duties

According to its charter of duties, Anti Narcotics Force is required to perform the following duties:

  • Controlling the supply and production of narcotic substances within the country by:-
  •  Limiting the smuggling, trafficking and distribution of narcotics and psychotropic substances.
  •  Coordinating eradication of opium poppy crop.
  • Ensuring no heroin laboratory becomes functional.
  •  Inquiring/investigating into assets of drug barons.
  • Pursuing legal cases relentlessly and ensuring that drug traffickers are convicted expeditiously
  • Enhancing international co-operation in the fight against drugs and maintaining close liaison with the INCB, UNODC, NAS, DEA, DLOs, etc.
  • Reducing the demand of illicit drugs through a preventive education campaign.
  • Undertaking harm reduction, treatment and rehabilitation programmes.


Measures taken by Anti Narcotics Force
headingh2Pakistan’s Drug Strategy

Narcotic drugs are universally accepted as being the gravest dilemmas facing the world today. Pakistan’s   predicament in this milieu is that it continues to be used as a transit country for illicit trafficking of drugs. Narcotic offences are constantly on the rise. The government of Pakistan has enforced numerous administrative and legislative measures to control the drug menace.

headingh2Features of Recent Legislative Measures Anti Money Laundering Law

The Control of Narcotics Substances (CNS) Act 1997 governs the operational functioning of ANF. Although the CNS Act does not deal with money laundering in the strict sense, it has declared acquisition of assets from drug money a distinct crime which, if proven, may carry a minimum punishment of five years extendable up to maximum 14 years (Sections 12 and 13). Investigations are carried out in case of violations of these provisions. The culprits are rounded up and formally charged with the offence upon completion of the investigations. Suspected properties are traced, frozen and got forfeited through courts during the course of investigation. To a certain extent, this process also involves unearthing of laundered crime proceeds and could be construed as an anti money laundering measure.

Apart from this, Section 67 of the CNS Act makes it mandatory for managers of banks and Development Financial Institutions (DFIs) to send reports to the Director General ANF regarding any unusual financial transaction suspected to be related to a drug business. The managers are liable to being prosecuted for any deliberate failure in this regard (Section 68). However, up until now, Anti Narcotics Force has not received any such report from any bank or DFI.

During 2003, six cases were registered under Sections 13 of the CNS Act while four were challaned in the CNS Courts after finalization of investigations.

headingh2Assets Frozen by ANF

Frozen or Forfeited Drug Assets (Administration Management, Maintenance and Disposal) Rules 2001 are also in place but have not so far been implemented, particularly Rules 9 and 10 which deal with occupation of frozen or forfeited assets, and management and administration of income-generating assets. Of late, Force Commander Quetta has issued 23 notices to owners or occupiers of frozen income-generating assets, asking them to deposit such incomes into the account of the Force Commander. The notices are yet to be complied with.

The Anti Money Laundering (AML) Law is also in the offing. The draft law has been placed before the Cabinet and is now under scrutiny. Promulgation of this law will go a long way in combating money laundering in Pakistan. Some of the salient features of the draft law are:

The draft law authorizes Anti Narcotics Force, FIA and NAB to investigate cases of money laundering pertaining to their respective areas of responsibility. Bank managers will send STRs to Financial Intelligence Bureau. After necessary analysis, Financial Intelligence Bureau will send these to the investigation agency concerned for further inquiry. NAB will investigate STRs relating to corruption in the private and public sectors; FIA will deal with financing of terrorism and corruption and Anti Narcotics Force will handle cases relating to narcotics trafficking.                                  

Value of Assets Frozen Rs. 317.30  Million
Value of Assets Forfeited Rs. 70.0       Million       
Value of Forfeited Assets Realized Rs. 16.23     Million
  •  It describes the offence of money laundering

  • It prescribes punishments for offenders.
  • It sets out the fundamentals of the regulatory framework for the Financial Intelligence Bureau (FIB), system of Suspicious Transaction Report (STR) reporting by bank managers, its analysis and dissemination to the law enforcement agencies by Financial Intelligence Bureau.
  • It prescribes the process of freezing, forfeiture and auction of drug assets, coupled with realization and depositing of auction proceeds in the Assets Fund.

headingh2Establishment of Special Courts (CNS)

Special Courts (CNS) for trial of Anti Narcotics Force cases alone, were established in the following cities vide notification no. F 2/(5)/2000-A (iv) dated October 16, 2000:

  • Karachi
  • Lahore
  • Peshawar
  • Quetta
  • Rawalpindi

However, in March 2001, the Law, Justice and Human Rights Division, Islamabad, amended the Special Court (CNS) Karachi notification to include the trial of narcotic cases of all law enforcement agencies. This led to abolition of the exclusive jurisdiction of Special Court (CNS) Karachi. After much struggle, the Law, Justice and Human Rights Division acceded to Anti Narcotics Force’s suggestion in November 2003 and set up Special Court-Il (CNS) at Karachi for trial of narcotic cases. The Division empowered both the courts to try Anti Narcotics Force cases as well as cases of other agencies. The following table lists the territorial jurisdiction of these courts.

Name of Court Headquarter Territorial Limits
Special Court-II (CNS) Karachi Karachi
  • Regional Directorate Anti Narcotics Force (Police Station Main Police Station, Clifton Karachi)
  • Anti Narcotics Force Police Station Muhammad Ali Society, Karachi (Anti Narcotics Force Police Station-1)
  • Anti Narcotics Force Police Station Gulshan-e-Iqbal Karachi (Anti Narcotics Force Police Station-II)
  • Nabi Bakhsh Police Station (District South)
  • Alfalah Police Station) District Malir
  • Gulbahar Bazar Police Station (District Central)
  • Soldier Bazar (District East)
  • Peerabad Police Station (West)
Special Court-! (CNS) Karachi Karachi

All other police stations and Anti Narcotics Force Police Stations of Sindh, baring those mentioned against Special Court-II

headingh2ANF Inquiries and Investigation Rules

Most of the rules followed by Anti Narcotics Force have been formulated under the Anti Narcotics Force Act 1997/CNS Act 1997, and have been approved and promulgated by the authorities concerned. Other than that, Anti Narcotics Force Inquiries and Investigation Rules 2004, which are currently in the final stages of approval, will shortly be notified
A long outstanding issue regarding ex-post-facto approval/concurrence by Special Prosecutors (notified earlier under CNS Act 1997) is now in its final stages, and is quite likely to be notified shortly by the Law, Justice and Human Rights Division, Islamabad.


Enforcement Measures
headingh2Seizures by all Agencies

Year Opium Heroin Hashish Acetic Anhydride
(in Liters)
1997 882.845 1,021.789 22,616.003 253.005
1998 382.443 650.233 27,260.915 10,000.00
1999 7,662.742 2,143.846 25,546.569 231.250
2000 4,241.860 4,908.029 36,742.623 42.00
2001 2,626.350 3,068.168 29,938.870 -
2002 926.970 4,368.508 22,638.580 -
2003 4,092.200 4,660.773 20,147.277 -
2004 (As on 1 st June) 291.210 2,475.800 17,033.262 -

headingh2Seizures by Anti Narcotics Force
Year Opium Heroin Hashish Acetic Anhydride (in Liters)
In Kilograms
1997 882.845 1,021.789 22,616.003 253.005
1998 382.443 650.233 27,260.915 10,000.00
1999 7,662.742 2,143.846 25,546.569 231.250
2000 4,241.860 4,908.029 36,742.623 42.00
2001 2,626.350 3,068.168 29,938.870 -
2002 926.970 4,368.508 22,638.580 -
2003 4,092.200 4,660.773 20,147.277 -
2004 (As on 1st June) 291.210 2,475.800 17,033.262 -

headingh2Disposal of Cases (As on June 01, 2004)
Year Cases Registered Convicted Acquitted Under Trial
Prior to 1995 1,119 669 187 263
1995 392 173 44 175
1996 273 115 25 133
1997 346 183 34 129
1998 424 270 43 111
1999 435 295 30 110
2000 555 385 21 149
2001 500 396 14 90
2002 387 212 7 168
2003 495 108 5 382
2004 272 6 - 266
Total 5,198 2,812 410 1,976

headingh2Drug Barons Assets Frozen by Anti Narcotics Force (As June 01, 2004)
Value of Frozen Assets
Rs. 5,307.66
Value of Forfeited Assets
Rs. 545.29 In Million
Value of Forfeited Assets Realized
Rs. 48.82
Cases Pending Trail in Courts
Cases Under Appeal in Courts
Cases Under Investigation
Cases in which Forfeiture has been made
Cases in which Forfeited Value of Property has been Realized

headingh2Extradition of Drug Traffickers
Request for Extradition by the US
Pending in Court
Out of Country
Not Yet Arrested

headingh2Extradition Treaties and International Obligations

Two kinds of agreements may be made for mutual administrative assistance in narcotics related matters. These are:Every country has its own legal system that determines the provision of mutual assistance to combat transnational crimes. Such help is generally referred to as mutual administrative assistance. The term legal assistance, on the other hand, is used when information is required in evidential form for use in court proceedings.

  • Legally binding agreements known as treaties, conventions and protocols. Such agreements are concluded among member states under the United Nations Charter to create rights and obligations of international law.

  • Non-legally binding agreements referred to as Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs). Such agreements are concluded among states to record international commitments in a language that expresses recognition of the fact that the agreements are not legally binding. Hence, MoUs are usually signed between states that prefer to avoid the formalities of legally binding agreements on cooperation in the fight against drug trafficking.

Operating under the CNS Act 1997, Anti Narcotics Force wields wide-ranging powers as the premier drug law enforcement agency within the country. Globally, it works in collaboration with accredited international law enforcement agencies to handle cases of transnational drug trafficking. This has been the thrust of Anti Narcotics Force’s efforts at home and abroad right from its inception in 1995. Pakistan has ratified the following United Nations conventions, regional bilateral MoUs and extradition treaties:

  • Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 as amended by the 1972 Protocol.
  • United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances 1971.
  • United Nations Convention against Illicit Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1988 and subsequent United Nations resolutions, in Particular the United Nations General Assembly is 20th Special Resolution S-20/4B.
  • SAARC Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances 1990
  • Protocol on Drugs Matters with ECO Countries.
headingh2Extradition Treaties

Extradition treaties were concluded with 19 countries by the then British government. These treaties were subsequently adopted by Pakistan. The countries with which such treaties already existed are:-

San Marino


Pakistan has directly concluded extradition treaties with the following ten countries:

Saudi Arabia

headingh2Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs)

In order to make joint efforts for the control of drug trafficking, the government of Pakistan has signed MoUs with the following nine countries:-


MoUs with the following six countries are in the pipeline:-


headingh2Role of Afghanistan

By the end of the 1990’s, illicit opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan had become alarmingly high, accounting for 79 percent of the global opium production in 1999 and about 70 percent in 2000. The following year, production declined to an estimated 185 metric tons or 11 percent of the worlds’ estimated production, which stood at 1,626 metric tons. A key instrument for this landmark decline was a decree by the erstwhile Taliban regime calling for a ban on poppy cultivation during 2000-01. The decree was enforced in spite of Afghanistan’s deteriorating economic conditions and weak agricultural sector caused by 20 years of war.

However, production abruptly increased in 2002 to account for approximately three-fourth of the world’s illicit opium poppy production, i.e., 4,600 metric tons. The UNODC Afghanistan Opium Survey 2002 estimated that opium poppy was cultivated on 74,000 hectares, compared to 7,606 hectares in 2001 and 82,172 hectares in 2000. The chronology of illicit poppy cultivation versus yield is as follows:

headingh2Poppy Cultivation versus Yield in Afghanistan - 1994 to 2003
Yield (in MT)

Barring peak production in 1999, available data indicates a relatively stable situation.

Pakistan faces a serious threat on account of continuous and large-scale illicit cultivation of opium poppy and the production and trafficking of opium and heroin. Ours is a victim country suffering both on account of drug trafficking as well as the pervasiveness of drug abuse due to inflow of Afghan opiates.

In spite of the progress achieved at home and abroad in terms of elimination of opium poppy and combating of illegal drugs by means of law enforcement, the picture on the southwest frontier of Pakistan remains distorted. As such, the government of Pakistan calls upon the United Nations International Drug Control Programme and the international community in particular to support the reconstruction of war-ravaged Afghanistan so that the transit countries bordering Afghanistan can be saved from the corollary of increased drug addiction and drug trafficking.

It is pertinent to mention that the 1961 United Nations Convention on Narcotic Drugs codified obligations of states to eliminate illicit cultivation of drug, irrespective of their economic and social conditions and style of governance. Clearly, the fulfillment of this obligation was to depend on the ability of states to extend the reach of legal controls to cultivation sites, which were invariably located in detached rural areas. Even though a signatory to the 1961 Convention, Afghanistan is yet to become party to the 1972 Protocol amending the 1961 Convention.


Pakistan – A Victim, not a Source Country

At the time of independence in 1947, Pakistan was deficient in opium. It could not meet the requirements of its own opium addicts, whose number at that time was fairly limited. Till 1956, the country imported opium from India. Thereafter, only the production of ‘licensed opium for medical needs was permissible - that too under strict control in selected areas of North West Frontier Province.  The production of licensed opium continued till 1979 when two important developments took place. These were:-

  •  The Islamic revolution in Iran, February 1979.

  •  Promulgation of the Prohibition Enforcement of Hadd Order 1979 in Pakistan, which led to a total ban on opium production. This left the farmers with huge stockpiles (approximately 800 tons) of poppy. They did not know what to do with it. In the meantime, some western experts taught Pakistani farmers the technique 01 converting poppy into heroin. This is how heroin, which was produced in Europe for the first time in 1898, was introduced to this part of the world in the 1980s.

Of the cultivated land in Pakistan, opium production was confined to a few isolated pockets of Federally Administer Tribal Area and North West Frontier Province. By 1995, this area was further reduced to 5,215 hectares as compared to 32,000 hectares in 1978. Consequently, poppy production also declined from a record yield of 800 to 109.5 metric tons. This achievement owes itself to successful eradication efforts by the government of Pakistan together with an alternative development programme in the poppy growing areas initiated in collaboration with the UNODC.

Meanwhile, the shifting of focus from anti narcotics to anti terrorism and further lack of funding by donor countries for targeted development projects on the tribal belt of North West Frontier Province led to re-emergence of illicit opium poppy cultivation in the 2002-03 crop season in Pakistan. Consequently, opium poppy was cultivated on 6,703 hectares, of which 4,182 hectares were forcefully eradicated by Anti Narcotics Force and Frontier Corps Balochistan and North West Frontier Province, demonstrating the government’s resolve to attain opium-free status. Nevertheless, in 2002, opium poppy crop cultivated on 2,521 hectares could not be eradicated on account of geopolitical constraints and the ongoing anti terrorism operation within inaccessible areas of North West Frontier Province. The geo-political scenario in the opium growing areas has not changed since then. During 2003-04, the crop was reportedly cultivated on 6,646 hectares, of which 5,100 hectares have been destroyed so far at the cost of the life of a most heroic soldier of Frontier Corps Balochistan. A concerted eradication campaign is still underway.

These events reinforced the need for development assistance to opium poppy growing areas of North West Frontier Province, Balochistan and beyond. Some of the alternative development programmes to prevent resurgence of opium poppy include road infrastructure, electricity, soil conversion works, irrigation canals, healthcare centres and educational and vocational institutes. There is a need for additional international development assistance so that the gains made can be furthered by adopting an approach based on sustainable livelihoods for poppy growing farmers. Funds are also required to forestall the ‘balloon effect,’ i.e., a situation that arises when the reduction of drug crops in one area triggers cultivation in previously less affected locations. Two decades of anti-Soviet war in Afghanistan, followed by the Allied Forces’ military operation against terrorism on Pakistan’s porous border with that country, has resulted in the spread of narco gun culture. With almost no heroin addicts in 1979, Pakistan is now reeling under the ill effects of the highest addiction rate in the world as pointed out by the then UNODC representative Mr. Thomas Zeindl Cronin, on the occasion of the launching of the INCB Report 2001. He had categorized Pakistan as a major transit country for opiates and hashish in the region.



Anti Narcotics Force’s Charter of Duties<

Measures taken by Anti Narcotics Force

Enforcement Measures

Pakistan A Victim, not a Source Country


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