Hashish cultivated on 80pc of farmlands in Logar’s Azra district
PUL-I-ALAM (Pajhwok): The Taliban have collected millions Pakistani rupees in Ushr(one-10th part of the total yield) from the hashish crop, officials in central Logar province claimed on Thursday. However, the militants rejected the allegation.
Abdul Wali, a provincial council member, told Pajhwok Afghan News hashish had been cultivated on 80 percent of agriculture lands in Azra district, where soil and climatic conditions were suitable for the crop.
Farmers earned millions of by growing the outlawed crop, with 10 percent of the earning going to the Taliban in Ushr, he said, adding notorious rebel commander Adam Khan collected millions of rupees annually and spent the amount in Pakistan.
The provincial council member urged the government to put in place special programmes to wean growers from cultivating charas to other cash crops.
Hamidullah Hamid, the town’s administrative chief, acknowledged most farmers had cultivated hashish in Azra. He said no other crop was as profitable as charas and hence a sharp spike in cultivation.
The Taliban, however, spurned the official claims as propaganda against the movement. Zabihullah Mujahid, the group’s spokesman, said they knew hashish had been cultivated on most farmlands in the district.
“Residents of Azra are poor and they cultivate hashish to meet their economic needs. But weneither order nor prevent hashish cultivation. Nor have we ever asked the farmers for Ushr,” Mujahid insisted.
Azra is situated 90 kilometres east of Pul-i-Alam, the provincial capital. The main road linking the capital and the district centre had been closed for security reasons, forcing resident to travel to Kabul via Nangarhar province.
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