Minister of State for Narcotics Control Shehryar Afridi has said that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan wants the Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) to stop burning seized drugs, and set up a factory where the same will instead be used to make medicines.

In a video doing rounds over the internet, Afridi can be heard as saying that his department was working to set up a factory on the premier’s orders, where medicines will be made from seized drugs, thousands of kilograms (kg) of which are set ablaze every year at a drug-burning ceremony.

“We are setting up a factory… we burn a huge cache of heroin, charas [hashish form of cannabis] and afeem [opium] every year, but other countries use them to make medicines. Now, on PM Imran Khan’s instructions, a factory will be established in Tirah [Valley] so that lives of locals can be improved,” he can be heard as saying while addressing a gathering.




Several illegal drugs have been investigated for medical benefits such as treating hard-to-treat mental illnesses and chronic disorders.

While cannabis or marijuana has long been known to provide pain relief, it also offers relief from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms, controls nausea, and can minimise some symptoms of glaucoma and Crohn’s disease. In the United States (US) states where the drug is legalised, products for such things as period pain management are being made available to the public.

As for heroin, a study at Hannover Medical School found opiate addicts — usually people addicted to painkillers like Vicodin, Percocet, Oxycontin, or Demerol — were able to better kick their opiate addiction after taking small dosages of heroin. Heroin is also commonly used in hospitalised pain management, particularly in palliative care.