The induction of the drug mafia into politics is affecting the lives of people in Balochistan. The province has been in the throes of an insurgency for more than a decade, which kept it far from normal. The province is suffering due to a bad law and order situation. Since the separatist insurgency has gripped the province, lawlessness, particularly kidnapping for ransom and drug smuggling, has mushroomed in Balochistan. Anti-social elements like drug smugglers, criminals and land mafia have successfully reaped benefits out of this abysmal situation. Balochistan, with its rugged mountains and deserts, shares a long porous border with Afghanistan and Iran. It serves as a transit route for drug deals and is a den of drug couriers. These elements are extremely powerful and firmly entrenched in society. They have politicians, bankers and bureaucrats under their payroll. However, what is worrisome is that these anti-social elements have made an entrance into the political arena. These criminals want to rid themselves of their past and politics seems to be the best way for them to do so. Politics here requires deep pockets, which these elements already possess. The entry of non-political persons into politics will lead to nothing good for the country. Politics is a serious subject that affects the lives of millions of people. The betterment of a society and country totally depends on its healthy and constructive politics. This mafia-turned-politician phenomenon may prove to be Frankenstein’s monster, one that will devour its own creator, and the nation. It is all too obvious they do not bother to devise advantageous policies for the province and the country, and see their self-interests and benefits instead of serving the people. They join politics only to quench their lust for power, prestige, status, and authority. Furthermore, politics can bring them gains through corruption. Resultantly, this practice spreads across the political spectrum. Firstly, it creates a sense of despondency among people that their feelings and sentiments are not being given due regard as they deserve to be represented by their true representatives in the mainstream politics and legislative bodies. The fight against drugs should be a part of every political party’s manifesto, especially those contesting in Balochistan where drug consumption is prolific. This is imperative if we are to discourage the admission of drug lords in politics Secondly, the prevailing corruption causes hindrances in development. People remain poor and will thus become prone to extremist activities. All such effects can also be witnessed in Balochistan where people are despondent and their development has largely been held back, because of non-political people. Another factor is insurgency, which has stifled the development of the province. Proper development is only plausible when genuine political process has been given a chance to take root and flourish. If outlanders try to poke their noses in it, people may abandon whatever meagre hope they have to become a part of national politics. For many years, these mafias have controlled most political positions in the province. For this reason, most political parties do not carry any commitment in their manifestos to fight drug abuse. It will be a great challenge for them to stand up against the drug lords and put an end to drug abuse and trafficking. On May 15th, a seminar was conducted under the auspices of the social welfare department, Quetta wherein all provincial political parties were invited to pledge in their manifestos that they would fight this menace, as the general elections in the country are just around the corner. Only time will tell if the pledge will amount to anything. The bigger question is, who introduced this mafia into politics? Who should be blamed? If the Pandora’s Box is opened, what will happen? Many so-called irreproachable notables will be found guilty. Even nationalist personalities are in cahoots with drug dealers and take their input before making political decisions. It is more advisable that the induction of drug dealers in politics must be discouraged by all possible means. Things will not change unless political activists and parties fix their own fundamental slogans in view of putting the house in order. The fight against drugs should be a part of every political party’s manifesto, especially those contesting in Balochistan where drug consumption is prolific, to discourage the admission of drug lords in politics. Unity and harmony is the foremost thing to develop amongst different political parties. They must take control of their political destiny through unity and cooperation. The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Published in Daily Times, June 7th 2018.