Drug commerce threat to Helmand security: Police
LASHKARGAH CITY (Pajhwok): The police chief for southern Helmand province on Sunday acknowledged that a boom in poppy cultivation and its trafficking was a major threat to security.
Maj. Gen. Nabiullah Malakhel, the newly-appointed police chief, told a press conference that both international mafia and local armed groups were involved in cultivating the illicit crop and smuggling opium.
He said plans had been devised to eradicate the poppy crop in the province with the help of local elders. However, he did not give any timeframe for the anti-poppy drive.
Earlier, Governor Muhammad Naeem had also called poppy cultivation a stumbling-block to security in the province.
Nabi, a farmer of the area, told Pajhwok Afghan News poppy had been sown in parts of Helmand this year. He asked the government to provide them alternatives to the crop.
Abdul Jalil, another grower, also confessed: “I live in Nad Ali district and have cultivated poppy on my land in Khanshin town, where the government has no writ.”
According to reports, last year poppy was cultivated on around 1000 acres of land in Helmand province, where the government could eradicate only 700 acres of the illicit plant.
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