Narcotics yield, trade and use on the rise
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (Pajhwok): Marking World Anti-Narcotics Day, participants of a gathering in the capital of northern Balkh province on Saturday raised their concerns about increasing poppy cultivation, drug smuggling and use in the country.
Religious scholars and a large number of civil society activists took part in the gathering organized by Line Social Organisation in Mazar-i-Sharif.
Abdul Qadir Mesbah, the organisation head, told Pajhwok Afghan News the gathering was aimed at drawing the international community’s attention toward drug production and the increasing number of drug addicts.
He said they would continue their efforts at countering drugs and criticised the government for not marking the world anti-narcotics day so far.
He said surveys conducted by their organisation revealed drug production, trade and smuggling had increased across the country.
He said the same illicit activities had increased in northern Afghanistan as well and the gathering was aimed at sharing their concerns with the media in this regard.
Mesbah said drug addiction had surged with increase in poppy cultivation and drug trade, saying five to 10 percent increase in drug use had been recorded in Balkh.
Poppy crop has been cultivated on more than 42000 acres of land in the nine northern provinces, with the figures increasing day by day.
Mesbah said the illicit crop had been cultivated in areas, where insecurity prevailed and warlords ruled.
Claiming increase in demand for drugs in foreign countries, he said 9200 hectors of area was brought under poppy cultivation in Afghanistan last year, estimating the yield at 10,000 tonnes.
He said only 90 tonnes of the harvest was being used inside the country and the rest smuggled abroad.
He said imams were doing their job to convey the message of Islam about drugs to the people, but the government should fulfill its responsibility of combating the menace.
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