‘Fight on drugs to fail sans regional cooperation’
KABUL (PAN): The Ministry of Counternarcotics and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) on Monday said regional and international cooperation was crucial to do away with drug trade in Afghanistan.
Speaking at a joint news conference with UNODC executive director, Yury Fedotov, the counternarcotics minister Zarar Ahmad Muqbil Osmani called the fight against drugs as one of the difficult jobs the Afghan government was dealing with. "Without cooperation of regional countries and international community, the fight will fail in Afghanistan," he said.
Osmani said his ministry had great achievements with regard to seizing drugs, arresting smugglers and eradicating poppy crops across the country.
However, he expressed concerns over no major breakthrough in reducing drug production, its smuggling and treatment of drug addicts.
Over the past three months, 10,000 hectors of land cultivated with poppies was cleared and 50 counternarcotics police were killed and 80 other injured during anti-poppy campaigns last year.
In last 10 years, he said the government spared no efforts in eradicating drugs and smugglers, he said.
The minister and UNODC executive director also signed a three-year cooperation agreement to help implementing comprehensive activities in the fight against drugs.
Osmani said the agreement focused on monitor poppy cultivation, implementation of the relevant law, alternative crops to poppy and reducing the demand of drugs. “This new programme will increase cooperation on sharing information between regional countries to find out the routes of drug mafia,” he said.
UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov insisted his office remained committed to fighting drugs jointly with the Afghan government.
Deputy interior minister for counternarcotics, Baaz Mohammad Ahmadi was present at the oppress conference. He said counternarcotics police could effectively fight the menace only when they were well-equipped and supported. "If a joint fight involving region countries is not carried out on the drugs, the Afghan government alone cannot fight it," he said.
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