Narcotics production and refining in Afghanistan has a major impact on neighboring Pakistan. According to UNODC
Opium Survey, around 70% of Afghanistan’s opium is grown in five provinces along the border with Pakistan that
includes Kandahar, Nirmoz, Nangarhar, Badakhshan and Helmand. The porous borders between Pakistan and
Afghanistan facilitate trafficking of Afghan drugs to various parts of the world through Pakistan.
Open and scarcely inhabited areas of Baluchistan and Makran coast facilitate trafficking of drugs through
vehicular convoys and animal transport from Southern Afghanistan. These areas also provide dumping sites for the
drugs before these are trafficked beyond Pakistan. The coastal areas of Pakistan especially small fishing ports
along Makran coast are vulnerable to drug smuggling activities towards Gulf States and beyond.
The ramifications of drug processing and trafficking are felt globally. UNODC estimates that Pakistan is the
destination and transit country for approximately 40% of the opiates produced in Afghanistan. Most processing
takes place in small, mobile laboratories in the Afghan-Pakistan border areas although increasing instances of
processing on the Afghan border with the Central Asian Republics have been reported.
Narcotics Trafficking Routes. The main routes used by smugglers are :-
International Routes. These can be categorized into three:-
Northern Route. From Afghanistan through Cars and Russian Federation.
Southern Route. From Afghanistan through Pakistan for shipment of drugs
to Iran, Turkey, Middle East and Africa. From Africa, a portion of the smuggled drugs are
transported to European market and even to US and Canada.
Balkan Route. From Afghanistan through Iran, Turkey to the West and
Domestic Routes. The most important crossing points for all trade, both licit
and illicit, on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border are the Torkham crossing in FATA and Chaman Checkpoint
in Balochistan. In addition to these, there are hundreds of natural passes and deserted roads and tracks
across entire border, most of which are unmanned and unsupervised. There are three major routes:-
Route 1. From eastern Afghanistan into FATA and then either towards
China via Gilgit by road or towards Karachi via KPK.
Route 2. From Afghanistan to Balochistan (mostly through cities of
Dalbadin and Quetta), then towards Iran by road or towards Makran Coastal areas or Karachi for
further transported to Middle East and Turkey.
Route 3. This is the air route.
Narcotics Concealment Techniques. The methods and techniques used by smugglers for
hiding Narcotics continuously vary. Almost everything can be used to hide Narcotics in any way to the
imagination. Few of concealment techs used in PCG Area of Responsibility.
Narcotics Trafficking Techniques. Drugs are dumped at different places along Pak –
Afghan border and later shifted to coastal areas using different means of transportation at different stages of
Pak – Afghan Border to Makran Coast. Vehicles with variety of cavities are used
along highways to bring in drugs to Karachi and coastal areas.
Coastal Belt to Sea Shore. Using camels or light vehicles, traffickers bring
drugs into the coastal belt for further transfer to sea.
Sea Shore to Sea and Onwards. In this terminal phase, Boats and Dhows are used
disguised as a fishing boat with complete legal formalities. The Dhow reaches at a given point and
spreads its fishing net to justify its presence in the area. Speed boats bring drugs up to the Dhow and
the Dhow moves to destination after carrying Narcotics.
Precursor Trafficking. Pakistan is a known destination and transshipment point for
precursor chemicals – substances used in the production of drugs – such as acetic anhydride, ephedrine and
pseudoephedrine. Drug trades rely on huge quantities of controlled and uncontrolled precursors.
Illegal Immigration. Movement of illegal immigrants is carried out using Pak – Iran
border. Despite best efforts, illegal immigration across Pak – Iran Border remains continue. Illegal immigrants
are recruited in groups by the agents and are given a cover story including details of border towns. Train and
public transport is used by the individual to reach at given destination. Specified transport companies are used
and normal fare is charged. Illegal immigrants are transported through foot and boats under the monitoring of
agents. All those using Iran as transit country have final destinations in Europe through Turkey or Middle East.
Smuggling of Iranian Petroleum, Oils and Lubricants (POL) Products
PCG has put in concerted efforts to control the menace of Iranian Petroleum, Oils and Lubricants products.
However, the smugglers still manage to achieve success to some extent for illegal move of Petroleum, Oils and
Lubricants products thus causing huge losses to national economy. The main reasons are:-
Porous nature of border with neighboring Iran.
Large gaps between land posts due to extended frontages and meager manpower resources.
Presence of unfrequented routes due to rugged nature of terrain.
Non availability of Petroleum, Oils and Lubricants products in Makran Division.
Lack of economic activities / social development for the locals to earn their livelihood through legal means.