Expressing concern over the inflow of drugs from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Nigeria and other countries, seven northern States and a Union Territory on Thursday decided to set up a joint working group, involving officials of the health and social justice departments, to share experiences and best practices in their respective campaigns against drugs.Two of the BJP-ruled States — Haryana and Himachal Pradesh — disclosed that they were considering a legislation on the lines of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) to tackle the drug menace in their States. Chief Ministers of the northern States, including those of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, joined by top officials from Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir and Chandigarh, agreed on a series of measures to eradicate the drugs scourge from the region, they said in a statement after their second joint conference.‘Joint operations’“These included joint operations at the inter-State borders, information sharing and implementation of the best practices of the participating States,” the officials said in the statement. “There was consensus among the States on the importance of strengthening the information sharing mechanism on drugs and drug dealers-smugglers, for a more effective crackdown against them,” they added.It was also agreed that all the States would initiate major awareness programmes and strive to make eradication of drugs a peoples’ movement. The conference recognised drugs as a national problem, requiring the collective effort of all the States for its successful eradication. It proposed, therefore, to jointly press the Centre to come out with a national drugs policy in order to effectively tackle the growing menace.“We believe that these efforts will go a long way in eradicating this scourge from the region, thus protecting our youth and our future generations, and ensuring a safe, secure and healthy society,” they said in the joint statement. The States also reiterated their commitment to “continuing and strengthening the process of consultation and cooperation, to collaborate even more closely and actively for making the region ‘Nasha Mukt’.