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    Drugs prime source of funding for Afghan insurgents: US embassy

    KABUL (PAN): The United States embassy on Thursday said drugs have become a major source of funding for Afghan insurgents and it would increase civic awareness to slash narcotics demand in the country.

    The embassy plans to educate people on the dangers and prohibition of drugs based on Islamic teachings and through prayer leaders, Thomas Hushek, director of the international narcotics and law enforcement at the US embassy in Kabul told reporters.

    People use drugs in traditional ways to cure illnesses in remote areas of Afghanistan where they have limited or no access to healthcare services, he said, adding the rise in number of drug users and demand in the country was due to low price of narcotics.

    Prayer leaders would be requested to inform people on the dangers of drug use according to Islam and advise them to seek assistance at rehabilitation centres, he said.

    The embassy’s narcotics department is working closely with the Public Health Ministry, Counternarcotics Ministry, Labours and Social Affairs Ministry and the Education Ministry to promote awareness against drug abuse, he added.

    The department had trained 300 school students across the country on the dangers of drugs.

    Each year US embassy provides financial support to 50 rehabilitation centres in Afghanistan and helps to cure 14,000 drug users, he added.