A senior official in the Pakistan Government has admitted that Pakistani smugglers are using drones to smuggle illicit drugs, mostly heroin into Indian territory.
Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan, the Special Assistant on Defence to Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made these remarks to Hamid Mir, a journalist associated with Pakistan's Geo News.
Mr. Mir has posted a video on his Twitter handle of the interview with Khan, who is also the Member of Provincial Assembly (MPA) representing Kasur city, which borders the state of Punjab in India. The Pakistani journalist tweeted on July 17, "Big disclosure by PM’s advisor Malik Muhammad Ahmad Khan. Smugglers using drones in the flood-affected areas of Kasur near Pakistan-India border to transport heroin. He demanded a special package for the rehabilitation of the flood victims otherwise victims will join smugglers.
"In the video clip of the interview posted by the Pakistani journalist, Malik Khan is heard saying, "This (Kasur near LOC) is a rangers area. Due to some border regulations, there is some sensitivity. "When the journalist asks the special advisor to Pakistan PM about the issue of cross-border smuggling of narcotics in Kasur he affirms the development.
"Sure, it (smuggling via drone) is happening and it is very unfortunate. Recently there have been two incidents where 10 kg of heroin was tied to each drone and thrown across. Agencies are working on it."Indian security forces have brought down a number of drones in recent times carrying contraband.In April this year, Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Dilbag Singh said that security forces have taken many counter-measures to tackle incidents of dropping of weapons and drugs by drones sent by Pakistan.Earlier this month, on July 21, BSF and Punjab Police troops recovered a drone in broken condition from the farming field near Mastgarh village in Punjab's Tarn Taran district.On specific information, BSF and Punjab Police launched a search operation and recovered the Pakistani drone from the outskirts of Mastgarh village.
"The recovered drone belongs to Quadcopter, DJI Matrice 300 RTK model," officials said. Earlier, the Border Security Force (BSF) foiled the nefarious design of smugglers by seizing 2.35 kg of heroin dropped by a Pakistani drone near the International Border in Punjab's Tarn Taran district.During the detailed search, the BSF troops recovered one packet of narcotics suspected to be heroin weighing 2.35 kg wrapped with yellow adhesive tape from the farming field ahead of border fencing.
On June 29, BSF troops recovered approximately 5.120 kg of suspected heroin dropped by a Pakistani drone near the International Border in farming fields of Village- Khalra in Tarn Taran district. Earlier, on June 24, the troops of the BSF shot down a Pakistani drone that had intruded into the Indian airspace in Punjab's Tarn Taran sector.
Also, the BSF shot and brought down a Pakistani drone in Punjab's Tarn Taran district. On June 22, the BSF in Punajb's Fazilka recovered a drone originating from the Pakistan side and two packets of suspected narcotics near the Abohar border.
"On specific information, alert BSF troops recovered a Pakistani drone (DJI Matrice 300 RTK) on June 22, during morning hours along with 2 kg (appx) suspected heroin near the international border in Jodhawala village of Fazilka district," BSF Punjab Frontier said. BSF personnel in Rajasthan's Bikaner recovered a drone originating from the Pakistan side and two packets of suspected narcotics near the Rawla border.