Pakistan’s Drone Epidemic Along Indian Border Regions; 500kg Heroin Seized

by Parminder Singh Sodhi

In a troubling development, Pakistan-based cross-border drug operatives have intensified their efforts to infiltrate narcotics and firearms into Indian territory, posing a serious threat to the socio-economic fabric. The Border Security Force (BSF) reports a significant surge in drone activities, with over 100 drones intercepted or seized this year alone. This indicates a concerning shift towards the use of aerial methods by Pakistani agencies in executing their illicit operations.

The most alarming revelation is the record-breaking seizure of heroin, with approximately 500 kg confiscated in Punjab this year, surpassing all previous records. Alongside this, the BSF has successfully apprehended numerous drug smugglers and confiscated a substantial number of firearms. Last year’s statistics underscore the severity of the issue, with 316 kg of heroin seized and 190 reported drone intrusions in the state, leading to 22 drone interceptions or seizures by the BSF. In 2021, 485.165 kg of heroin was confiscated, accompanied by 64 reported drone intrusions.

BSF officials commend the heightened vigilance and successful efforts in thwarting the nefarious designs of these anti-national elements. The increase in contraband seizures and drone interceptions underscores the relentless commitment of security forces in combating cross-border criminal activities.

A senior BSF official highlighted a shift in the tactics employed by Pakistani smugglers, noting a transition from larger, expensive drones to more cost-effective alternatives with reduced carrying capacity. The affordability of these drones, predominantly ‘Made in China,’ has contributed to a rise in the number of drone intrusions.

During a recent visit to Ferozepur, BSF Inspector General Atul Fuzele announced initiatives to enhance border security. The installation of CCTV cameras at vulnerable points along the international border is underway, aiming to deter smuggling activities, with completion expected by March 2024. Fuzele also disclosed the implementation of a comprehensive standard operating system to counter drones, incorporating both technical and human intelligence.

Furthermore, the BSF, in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies, is compiling data on individuals involved in NDPS cases, those released on bail or parole, and those suspected of smuggling activities. A proposal for preventive detention of such suspects has been submitted to the state government, currently under examination.

Parminder Singh Sodhi

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