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    Muqbil asks ulema to help tackle drug menace (Video)

    KABUL (PAN): The Counternarcotics Ministry is trying to engage religious scholars and prayer leaders in tackling the growing menace of narcotics in Afghanistan, home to nearly a million drug addicts, officials on Saturday.

    Addressing a two-day gathering, attended by hundreds of scholars and imams from various provinces in Kabul, Counternarcotics Minister Zarar Ahmad Muqbil said Afghanistan was an Islamic country, where drugs and intoxicants were causing serious problems to the people.
    Despite several anti-drug campaigns, he said one million people depended on drugs, linking the addiction largely to poppy cultivation.
    “The presence of one million drug addicts imposes huge economic expenditure on the country. If an addict spends a dollar a day, the daily expenditure of one million addicts will come to $1 million dollar per day, or $360 million a year.''
    He said more than 10,000 hectares of poppies had been destroyed, thousands of bottles of alcoholic beverages seized and dozens of suspects detained this year. The government had initiated many anti-drug drives but the biggest challenge was to create public awareness, he said.

    PAJHWOK/Ataullah Khpelwak