Anti-drug drive to mobilise masses launched
KABUL (Pajhwok): The Afghan Milli Ghorzang political party on Saturday launched an anti-drug campaign aimed at mobilising the masses against the menace in Kabul and provinces.
Dr. Khushal Rohi, the party chief, told a gathering in Kabul that such meetings involving religious scholars, tribal elders, civil society activists and media representatives would be held in Kabul and provinces as part of the campaign.
He said religious scholars would be urged to encourage people to join the campaign and elders, civil society activists and media people would be involved in the process to strengthen the drive.
Rohi said today’s gathering in Kabul marked the launch of the campaign. He said more than three million people in Afghanistan were addicted to drugs and 224,000 hectors of land was used for drugs production.
He said deaths caused by drug use had surpassed the deaths from the conflict in Afghanistan, where so far $8.6 billion had been spent on the counternarcotics campaign, but the drugs witnessed a 34 percent increase since 2001.
Looking at these bitter realities, Rohi said it was essential to mobalise the masses against the growing menace.
Deputy counternarcotics minister Haroon Rashed Sherzad, who spoke on the occasion, announced the ministry’s full support to the campaign and appreciated the effort.
He said currently poppy crop was grown in Afghanistan’s 132 districts out of the total 376 districts. The bulk of the illicit plant was cultivated in 10 districts of Helmand, Kandahar, Farah and Nimroz provinces, he added.
Mohammad Hashim Wihdat, who represented the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) at the gathering, said the campaign was the first of its kind to be involved the public. He announced support to the campaign and hoped it would produce positive results.
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