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Pakistan still remains a hatchery for Taliban: Ulomi

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Minister of Interior Noorul Haq Ulomi on Tuesday said that the Taliban and Islamic State (IS) militants are still trained in the neighboring Pakistan.

Addressing a ceremony to torch narcotics here, he said the trained militants are sent back to Afghanistan to fighting against the government forces.

Expressing serious concerns over spread of militancy and continued support for the insurgents by the regional players, the Afghan interior minister said that rebels were recruiting young people to continue their attacks against Afghanistan. He said the insurgents were getting orders from Islamabad.

“Taliban and Daesh fighters as always are being trained in Pakistan. They are equipped and financed there and are then sent to Afghanistan. They [insurgents] are being given hope while in Pakistan of achieving their goals in Afghanistan. Drugs are one of the main sources of income for insurgents in the region. They continue their attacks and are recruiting our youth through drugs,” Tolonews quoted the minister.

Minister for Counter-Narcotics, Salamat Azimi, on the occasion said that narcotics are a major problem faced by the government.

She said that not only the Afghan government but international community is also concerned about the drug problem.

In October this year, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC) and Ministry of Counter Narcotics (MoCN) reported 48 percent decrease in opium production and 19 percent decline in poppy cultivation.

A survey, conducted by the MoCN and the UNODC, estimated under poppy cultivation area 183,000 hectares in 2015. In 2014, poppy was cultivated on 224,000 hectares land. The cultivation has significantly decreased for the first time since 2009.

Salamat Azimi said that 48 percent decline in opium production was witnessed in the country this year. The survey in 2015 noted opium production 3,300 tons, where production in 2014 was 6,400 tons. Eradication of poppy fields increased 40 percent this year.

“Poppy cultivated on 3,760 hectares was eradicated in 2015. Poppy standing on 2,692 hectares was destroyed in 2014. Poppy cultivation was reported in twenty provinces,” she added.

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