Sindh kicks off process for mandatory drug testing of students

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Monday issued directives to start the process for making drug tests mandatory among students of government and private educational institutions, a press release said.
While presiding over a meeting held to examine the menace of drug abuse in schools of Sindh, Shah ordered authorities to draft a law that would make it mandatory for all students to undergo a drug test.
According to the statement, the chief minister during the meeting observed that alarming reports have emerged from some leading universities of the country where a number of students were using drugs.
“I am quite worried to [sic] protect our children from all social evils, and it becomes our collective responsibility to protect our children from the growing menace of drugs,” he was quoted as saying.
The chief minister constituted a committee comprising Sindh Health Minister Dr Sikandar Mendhro, Education Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar, Education Secretary Iqbal Durrani and Health Secretary Fazal Pechuho with directions to draft a law for making drug tests compulsory for students of secondary, higher secondary and university level.
“It would be mandatory for every student to qualify the test,” Shah said. He said he was certain parents will cooperate and support him in this endeavour.
The meeting was attended by the provincial ministers and secretaries for education and health, and home ministries, among others.
The education secretary while briefing the meeting said he has started preparing a list of students so that the same could be shared with the health department in order to commence drug testing.
The chief minister remarked that he would release funds needed for the testing “as and when required”.
The development comes weeks after an Anti-Narcotics Force official revealed that as many as 67 per cent of the university students in the country use drugs.
About 7.6 million people in Pakistan are drug addicts out of which 78pc are men and 22pc women, he said at the time.