60pc of anti-drug police engaged in security affairs
KABUL (Pajhwok): A senior Ministry of Interior (MoI) official on Tuesday said they were trying to increase cooperation with neighbouring countries to intensify the war on narcotics.
Baz Mohammad Ahmadi, the deputy minister of interior for counternarcotics, told a seminar in Kabul that his ministry was reviewing counternarcotics plans in the wake of foreign troops’ withdrawal and a record increase in poppy cultivation and drug smuggling.
The three-day seminar that concluded on Tuesday was attended by provincial counternarcotics directors from 15 provinces.
Ahmadi said efforts were underway to train counternarcotics police in special techniques and enhance their capability.
He also said they were trying to effectively bring under control airports, border areas and highways and identify affected areas as part of the counternarcotics strategy.
The deputy minister said cooperation between counternarcotics officials and with neighbouring countries, especially Tajikistan and Iran, was crucial in combating the menace and in this regard efforts were underway.
Ahmadi also revealed that 60 percent of the anti-drug police had been busy performing other security related jobs. This issue, he said, he had discussed with the interior minister and hoped for early measures.
Ahmadi said the seminar was an effort to reach these goals. The three-day event was attended by counternarcotics officials from border and drug-infested areas, he added.
The counternarcotics officials represented Takhar, Baghlan, Kunduz, Badakhshan, Farah, Herat, Nimroz, Balkh, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Helmand, Uruzgan, Zabul, Parwan and Kabul.
Calling drugs an international issue, Ahmadi called on the international community to extend needed support to the Afghan government in combating the menace.
He assured the people of Afghanistan and the international community that his ministry would continue its campaign against narcotics until their smuggling and cultivation was fully prevented in Afghanistan.
Ahmadi said his department had confiscated 45 tonnes of drugs, chemicals and a quantity of alcoholic beverages this solar year and detained 1500 individuals in connection with the seizures.
He said police daily arrested midlevel 10 to 15 persons involved in selling drugs in Kabul alone, but it was not enough because efforts were required to reduce the demand for drugs.
He said the demand for drugs could be reduced if the ministries of public health and counternarcotics provided proper places to drug addicts in order to deny the sellers access to them.
He said if the two ministries were ready to do so, the counternarcotics police would shift drug addicts to such places.
He also said police did not allow drug addicts to public places in response to people’s complaints.
A large number of individuals addicted to drugs could been various parts of the central capital.
According to reports, the illicit poppy crop has been cultivated on 224,000 hectors of land in 20 provinces this season and about three million people are addicted to drugs across the country.
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