Pakistan occupies an important geostrategic location in the transit and trade of illegal goods. The country shares a 2,450 km border with Afghanistan, the world’s largest producer of opiates. UNODC reports that nearly 40% of the heroin from Afghanistan is trafficked through Pakistan. This easy availability of opiates (as well as synthetic drugs) has resulted in a growing population of drug users that pose an additional burden on the already overwhelmed public health system. Organized crime in Pakistan exists in various forms, orchestrated by complex informal networks of supplier rings, wholesalers, financiers, protectors and patrons, resulting in an extensive illegal network. Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA, on the border with Afghanistan, are particularly vulnerable. Law enforcement agencies struggle to counter these networks, particularly at the borders, at a serious cost to governance, development and security – not only in Pakistan but around the world.
The primary aim of this study is to analyze the implications of the 18th Amendment on federal and provincial functions related to the rule of law and drug-related health in Pakistan. For the purpose of this study the 18th Amendment is examined in three tiers (using a governance perspective): legislative changes and legal implications; institutional changes and administrative implications; and fiscal changes, and financial implications. The purpose is to inform and position development assistance in the new framework. It finds that while the provinces now have enhanced capacity to plan and target development programs, a major issue remains to be that of a lack of political will.