A report recently released, says of a 43 percent increase in the opium product so far this year. In 2016, the estimated of opium product is amounted 4,800 tons, said counter-narcotics minister Salamat Azimi, who was talking about the report prepared with the cooperation of the United Nations office for drugs and crime. She said that the ceiling of the product for last year, was some 3,300 tons.
The report also indicates a 10 percent jump in the poppy cultivation nationwide with 201,000 hectares of farmlands.
The deteriorating security situation has helped the drug lords and international mafia to use the farmers and their lands in poppy cultivation.
Poppy cultivation is an element that has defamed Afghanistan besides the four-decade war. About 90 percent of the world’s narcotics are reportedly provided from the country. The plant cultivation vastly began in the 1990s and during the Taliban rule, it became an international concern and the extremist militants used it as a good financial resource to fight the Northern Alliance and spend in administration affairs.
The West-backed government formed in 2001, promised to be serious in fighting poppy cultivation, drug product and trade besides struggling against terrorism. A large amount of the international community’s donation for the reconstruction was said to had been allocated in the counter-narcotics program.
Former president Hamid Karzai had called the narcotics smuggling a thing “defaming Afghanistan”. He asked the people in an addressing in 2010 to struggle against narcotics, saying if Afghans would not remove drugs, “drugs would remove Afghans”.
Despite the efforts, we have been witnessing the increase of this notorious phenomenon. The poppy which was mostly cultivated in the south and southwestern areas just until a couple of years ago, now expands to the northern province as the government has lost areas in Baghlan, Kunduz, Sar-e-Pul and Faryab provinces.
Some 1,000 hectares of lands are under poppy cultivation this year only in Baghlan province, according to lawmakers from the province and provincial council members.
Different people and groups are reported to be involved in drug deal from Taliban insurgents to the drug traders and even some government authorities including police officials. A provincial police chief was arrested for being part of the narcotics export.
The increasing number of addicts is another problem related to drug product. More than two million people are addicted to narcotics mostly opium, according to reports.
The national unity government has to seriously fight drug trafficking if it really wants struggle for security and to keep international community’s assistance because it directly links to the ongoing war. If it does not take it serious, the worse condition will be worst.