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Pak invites India to anti-narcotics conference

November 08, 2012 19:35 IST

India is among the 12 countries invited by Pakistan to participate in a regional ministerial conference on countering narcotics trafficking that is being hosted by Islamabad next week.

The meet, on November 12 and 13 is being organised at the initiative of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari. The aim of the conference is to share experiences in countering illicit drugs and discuss prospects of regional cooperation for 'pragmatic, comprehensive and sustainable ways' of addressing the production, demand and trafficking of narcotics, Foreign Office spokesman Moazzam Khan said on Thursday.

Besides India, the other countries invited to the meet are Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan. President Zardari will inaugurate the meet.

"Narcotics adversely affect the health of individuals and societies. They also threaten the security and stability of states. The government of Pakistan has taken a number of steps in the recent past to address the growing threat of narcotics," Khan said.

Pakistan became a 'poppy free country' in 2011 though the production, demand and trafficking of narcotics is a 'serious threat which transcends national boundaries', he said.

Zardari's initiative will boost joint efforts with key regional partners to counter narcotics, Khan said.

Rezaul H Laskar in Islamabad