Pitching for joint effort by the Union and state governments to tackle the drug menace in Punjab, Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Sunday said that it was the need of the hour for making the state free of drugs. Badal said all efforts by both these governments along with the active support of the general public could help in eradicating the drug menace in the state.The five-time Chief Minister said the state government could only seize the drugs coming to Punjab via border but the need of the hour was to cut the supply line of drugs for which the Centre needs to enhance vigil on the borders.Badal also said Punjab was leading in the seizure of drugs but the problem cannot be solved until and unless its supply line from both across the border and within the country was not cut completely. Asked to comment on Leader of Opposition and Congress leader Sunil Jakhar’s visit to Fazilka border on Saturday to meet BSF officials, Badal said, “the Congress leaders pretend to respect the security forces, whereas Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) admires these forces from the core of the heart.”A large number of Congress activists led by Jakhar had visited Sadiqi joint check-post to express solidarity with the BSF ahead of Monday’s protest dharna planned by the ruling SAD on the drug issue. Badal reiterated that the proposed protest of SAD at Attari, Hussainiwala and Sadki border on Monday was not against any central agency but it was meant for awakening the people of state against menace of drugs and for cutting its supply line from across the border.”The sole aim of our protest is to awaken the people against this menace so that its supply line can be cut from across the border,” he added.Earlier, SAD had announced that it will organise protests on the international border on January 5 to “pressurise the BSF” to stop entry of drugs from “Pakistan side”. However, taking a U-turn later, the SAD said that the sit-in near the border was only to “create awareness against the drug menace”.

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Centre-state effort required to check drug menace in Punjab, says Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal