Drugs fuelling terrorism in Afghanistan: Dostum
KABUL (Pajhwok): First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum said on Tuesday that narcotics business was strongly connected with militancy in the country and terrorist equipped themselves through cultivation and smuggling of illicit substance.
In his message read out on the ground breaking ceremony of Afghanistan Drugs Reporting System (ADRS), Dostum acknowledged that in the past 13 years Afghanistan remained on top of drugs producing country in the globe.
He said eradication of drugs was a serious challenge for Afghans and the government should take tangible steps to overcome the challenge.
Dustam said: “Drug was the main source of ongoing insurgency in the country. The profit which is being earned from the illicit business is going to the pockets of Taliban leaders.”
According to a survey conducted jointly by the Ministry of Counternarcotics and the United Nation Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), 90 percent of the world poppy was being cultivated in Afghanistan and it was cultivated on 224 hectares of lands in 2014, while in 2013 poppy was cultivated on 209 hectares of lands.
According to the survey, 6,400 tonnes of opium was produced in 2014, while in 2013 it was 5,500 tonnes showing 17 percent increase.
It said 79 percent of the drugs were cultivated in nine southern provinces where militants had strong presence. Helmand, Kandahar, Farah and Nangarhar were the leading provinces.
Salamat Azimi, minister of counternarcotics, said smuggling drugs left negative impact over political, economic, security situation of the country. She, however, said the government was committed to keep up the anti-narcotics campaign and it had positive outcome.
She said the ADRS was introduced for the first time in Afghanistan which would help collect drugs related information, facts and figures.
Andrey Avetisyan, the UNODC regional director, said that the UN would extend its all out support to the government of Afghanistan in fighting poppy cultivation and its smuggling.
He praised the introduction of new system and said there would no need for searching more websites to collection information about drugs in Afghanistan.
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