Narcotics cultivation, production in high level in areas under Taliban control

By: Suraya Raiszada

According to a joint survey launched by the government of Afghanistan and UN Office on Drugs and Crime, narcotics are highly cultivated in areas being controlled by the government armed insurgents.
Amid peace efforts ongoing by the governments of Afghanistan and US, officials of the ministry for interior say that a guarantee should be taken from the Taliban during current negotiations that they will stop poppy cultivation in Afghanistan.
Acting minister of interior Massoud Andarabi said that Taliban could daily earn $1 million with controlling narcotics’ processing factories in Farah.
He stressed that there is no doubt the Taliban have pav ed a safe atmosphere within which the narcotics’ traffickers avail the opportunity and do their illegal business.
Based on the joint survey, drought has caused that opium production level to be only decreased in 2018 in compare with last years.
Experts say that however, the government has done much to curb narcotics’ cultivation, but there are many factors that have caused the efforts to go in vain, therefore, national and international cooperation is needed to uproot the phenomenon.
Former deputy minister of counternarcotic Ibrahim Azhar said that drugs’ smugglers are the main supporters of terrorist groups in different parts of the country. He added increasing narcotics has negatively affected the country’s security and stability, as many unrest provinces such as Badghis and Helmand are the largest opium producers in the country.
At the same time, narcotics’ traffickers are doing their efforts to keep those provinces insecure so they can continue their illegal business and provide weaponries to the government armed insurgents so they fight security forces. Another expert Edris Aman believes that narcotics’ traffickers are one of the main factors behind insecurities in Northern provinces. He added mafia groups are making effort to keep Northern provinces insecure through which they can find way to Central Asian markets and can supply Afghanistan’s narcotics to world markets.
Experts believe that if narcotics’ production is getting increased this way, it will negatively affect Afghanistan worldwide, thus, serious combat is needed to change this image.
Huge amount of money has been spent by the government of Afghanistan over the last more than one and half a decade to fight narcotics, however, it used many different strategies.In fact, fighting narcotics will not follow with fruitful results unless an international commitment is existed in counternarcotic. US, Britain and UN have cooperated with Afghanistan over the last more than one and half a decade to counternarcotic, but no effective results have so far been appeared in the respect.

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