Minister unveils new regional policy on drugs
KABUL (Pajhwok): Counternarcotics Minister Din Mohammad Mubariz Rashidi on Sunday launched a new policy on regional and international cooperation to control drug trafficking and production in Afghanistan.
Rashidi told reporters in Kabul that bilateral and trilateral cooperation treaties on countering narcotics signed earlier had never been fully implemented.
Outlining the new policy, he said it offered a great opportunity for countries in the region and the world at large to enhance cooperation in countering narcotics and controlling poppy cultivations in Afghanistan.
He said the policy would help strengthen their resolve to get rid of drug smuggling and poppy crops.
He said the policy underlined measures necessary for achieving a decline in poppy growth and provision of alternate programming to effectively control the menace.
Rashidi believed a sharp decline in drug trafficking would come once the new policy was enforced, adding under the policy, regional countries were required to extend assistance to Afghanistan in its efforts to eliminate drug trade and poppy cultivation.
The minister stressed regional countries and the international community should continue assisting Afghanistan in its fight against narcotics.
According to the Ministry of Counternarcotics, Afghanistan produces 90 percent of the world’s drugs.
Rashidi said the revenue from poppy cultivation and narcotics trade in Afghanistan stood at $70 billion.
Only one billion of the revenue went to farmers and the rest ended up in hands of rebels who used the money to destroy the country.
He said drug smuggling strengthened terrorism and weakened the government, adding the issue was not possible to be resolved without cooperation from regional countries.
The minister said: “We have no good news for the international community as far as the eradication of poppy crop is concern. The government has been trying its level best to do away with poppy cultivation in Afghanistan.”
He said security forces were engaged in maintaining security for the elections and that was why the counter-narcotics strategy was not that much effective this year.
Rashidi said his ministry was also unable to fulfill the task of picking 1,000 drug addicts and taking them to rehabilitation centres.
The number of people addicted to drugs in Afghanistan has increased to 1.6 million.
Intelligence branch chief at the Ministry of Counternarcotics Brig. Gen. Mirza Mohammad Safi said individuals involved in drug smuggling trade did not want stability in Afghanistan.
He said police conducted 260 raids in one year, detaining 549 drug smugglers and producers. Weapons and vehicles were also recovered from those detained, he said.
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