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Drug abuse national security threat, says Singh

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18 January 2012 AMRITSAR Border Security Force officials showing 17 kilogram heroine valued at around Rs 85 crore in international market and about Rs 10 lakh fake Indian currency notes which were smuggled by a Pak smuggler who was shot dead by BSF patrolling party near Bhairowal border outpost near Indo Pak international border about 50km from Amritsar on Wednesday. PHOTO PRABHJOT GILL AMRITSAR
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IN03_RAJNATH_1981452fNew Delhi: Home Minister Rajnath Singh, on Wednesday, termed drug abuse a threat to public health and even national security.

“Our global society is facing serious consequences of drug abuse. It undermines the socio-economic and political stability and sustainable development,” Rajnath Singh said.

The minister was addressing the inaugural session of the Sub-Regional Drug Focal Point Meeting and Drug Demand Reduction Expert Group Consultation, South Asia organised by Narcotics Control Bureau.

Rajnath Singh cited narco-terrorism as leading to threats to the national security and sovereignty of states. The involvement of various terrorist groups and syndicates in drug trafficking leads to this issue .

The minister said drugs also destroy the health and fabric of the society and was considered to be the reason for both petty offences and heinous crimes such as smuggling of arms and ammunition and money laundering.

He said drug trafficking and abuse has continued its significant toll on valuable human lives and productive years of many person around the globe.

“With the growth and development of world economy, drug traffickers are also seamlessly trafficking various type of drugs from one corner to other ensuring the availability of the contraband for the vulnerable segment of the society who fall into the trap of drug peddlers and traffickers,” he added.

Rajnath Singh said: “India’s approach towards tackling the menace of drugs is well enshrined in our constitution which, in the Directive Principles, lay down that the state shall make endeavours to bring about the prohibition of substances injurious for health, except for medicinal and scientific purposes.”

Drug trafficking and its connection to other organised crimes is a major challenge for the drug law enforcement agencies. The home ministry, narcotics control bureau, and other drug law enforcement agencies of India are fully capable of dealing with such challenges.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Australia to Witness New Intelligence Laws By Sweeping Older Ones

Australian intelligence laws to be reviewed

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Australia's Defense Minister Marise Payne (L-R), China's PLA Lieutenant-General He Lei and Canada's Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan listens to U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis' address at the IISS Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, June 2, 2018.
Australia's Defense Minister Marise Payne (L-R), China's PLA Lieutenant-General He Lei and Canada's Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan listens to U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis' address at the IISS Shangri-la Dialogue in Singapore, June 2, 2018. VOA

Australia’s intelligence laws are to be reviewed in the most comprehensive overhaul of national security legislation in decades.

The review will take 18 months and will be led by a former spy chief. It will be the most comprehensive review of Australia’s intelligence laws since the 1970s. Much of its terms of reference are being kept secret but officials say the shake-up will look at how information is shared among the nation’s six security and intelligence agencies, as well with other law enforcement bodies.

Analysts say the review is long overdue with existing laws designed for a previous era. They say the review would likely address the main threats facing Australia; terrorism, cyber-warfare and influence by foreign powers.

Law books
Law books, Representational image, Pixabay

Australia’s federal Attorney-General Christian Porter says the overhaul will help to integrate the various agencies that keep the nation safe.

“The control, direction and coordination of all of these agencies, and the way they interact with non-intelligence agencies and state-based agencies, such as state police forces. It is looking at how we share information and whether or not that can be improved on.It is looking at the overall staffing and resourcing, so it has a very holistic approach, and the other thing it will look at is accountability and oversight,” said Porter.

The review comes amid rising fears in Australia over the influence of China in its domestic affairs.

Earlier this week media reports detailed allegations apparently contained in a top-secret report that China has attempted to influence Australia’s political parties for the past decade, as well as every level of government.

Beijing has previously accused Australia of being anti-China.

Last year the Australian government introduced new foreign interference laws into federal parliament, which, if passed, would put a ban on all overseas political donations. In January, Australian opposition Senator Sam Dastyari was forced to resign over alleged links to Chinese authorities.

Also read: More than 200 Commonwealth Games Athletes Seek Asylum in Australia and 50 go missing

Australia’s National Terrorism Threat Level remains set at “probable,” which means security agencies believe that individuals or groups have the intent and capability to carry out a terrorist attack in Australia. (VOA)