Police chief meets Colombo Plan secretary general
TEHRAN – National Police Chief Brigadier General Esmaeil Ahmadi-Moqaddam met on Tuesday with Dato` Patricia Yoon-Moi CHIA, the secretary general of the Colombo Plan for Cooperative Economic and Social Development in Asia and the Pacific.
Insisting on Tehran’s relentless campaign against drug trafficking, Ahmadi-Moqaddam said Iran has not produced opium over the past 40 years.
“Maybe Iran was an opium producer until 40 years ago but producing opium has been stopped… and we do not produce opium in Iran at all,” Ahmadi-Moqaddam said.
He added that Iran has waged campaigns against distribution of opium, reduced the number of addicts, and taken preemptive measures in this regard over the past three years.
Pointed to the fact that 95 percent of opium in the world is produced in Afghanistan, Ahmadi-Moqaddam said Iran has been spending large sums of money in preventing drug smuggling across its border with Afghanistan.
Over 3 tons of drugs, including heroin and morphine, are seized along the borders per day, he noted.
He went on to say that about 600,000 drug addicts in Iran have been receiving treatment over the past three years.
On regional and international cooperation in the fight against drugs trafficking, he said the center for Iran-Afghanistan-Pakistan joint operations against drugs is located in Tehran.
Tehran also hosts the training center for Afghan officers for the fight against drug the production and trafficking, he added.
Dato` Patricia Yoon-Moi CHIA called for an active participation of Iran in the Colombo Plan, saying, “With regard to the future programming in fights against narcotics (we) want Iran to be an active partner to us in these measures in order to help achieve the desired goals.”
She said that the Colombo Plan’s objectives are to reduce demand for drugs and take preemptive measures in that regard.
The Colombo Plan has also held some gatherings under the name of ‘Youth Gathering’ since 2002 in order to provide training for the young in fight against drugs, she said.
She said the Colombo Plan is also going to hold such meetings in Tehran and then in other Iranian cities.
She thanked Iran for making great efforts in this regard and expressed hope that her meeting with the police chief would expand cooperation between Tehran and the Colombo Plan.
The Colombo Plan is one of the oldest regional and inter-governmental organizations dates far back as 1950, when the idea was first conceived to enhance economic and social development of the countries of the region. It was established by Australia, Canada, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom on July 1, 1951 and it currently has expanded to include 26 member countries including non-Commonwealth countries and countries belonging to regional groupings such as ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) and SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation).It is a partnership concept of self-help and mutual-help in development aimed at socio-economic progress of its member countries
Tehran Times Political Desk