Poppy source of growing insecurity in Badakhshan: Affendi
FAIZABAD CITY (Pajhwok): The counter-narcotics director for Badakhshan says poppy cultivation and drug trafficking was the only sources of Taliban insurgency and insecurity in the province.
Mohammad Quaid Affendi recalled the illicit crop was cultivated on 1,246 hectares of land in Argo, Kisham, Tashkan, Khash and Juram districts last year. But this year, 4,050 hectares of land has been sown with poppies.
Speaking at a gathering, attended by journalists, religious scholars, farmers and common citizens, he highlighted the harmful effects of poppy. He acknowledged a possible increase in poppy cultivation this year.
“Poppy cultivation and opium processing in insecure areas of the remote province, where police could not reach, involves mafia members,” alleged the counter-narcotics director.
Despite eradication efforts and an investment of millions of dollars, he lamented, the government could not succeeded in preventing poppy cultivation. It was insecurity that paved the ground for the cultivation of the plant, he explained.
Abdul Razzaq, a grower from Argu district, said that since agricultural land in Badakhshan was inadequate, most of the poor people chose to cultivate the illicit crop.
He suggested the government should take tangible steps for the development ofagriculture and ensure availability of refined seeds and fertilisers to the growers at subsidised rates.
According to Affendi, last year 169 kilograms of heroin, 984 kilograms of opium, 73 kilograms of hashish, 135 litres of alcoholic drinks, more than 450 kilograms of chemicals and weapons were recovered from smugglers.
Nazar Naji, the provincial council member, lashed out at international community and said they world had failed to eliminated growing of poppy in Afghanistan despite investment of billions of dollars.
He said the assistance provided last year did not go to the deserving people. As a result, farmers felt discouraged and did not cooperate with eradication efforts. He stressed a halt to the smuggling of drugs to theworld market.
Saadullah Abu Aman, head of the Ulema Council, said drug trafficking and its cultivation was forbidden in Islami. Growing the illegal crop was dangerous for the rising generation and society at large, he added.
According to the United Nation Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC), more than 30,000 people, including women and children, are addicted to drugs in Badakhshan.
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