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Wolesi Jirga concerned over government’s failure to fight narcotics

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: Lawmakers in “Wolesi Jirga” or Lower House of the Parliament on Monday expressed deep concern over government failures in fight against narcotics and also treatment to the addicted people across the country.

To find way out, lawmakers summoned Interior, Counter Narcotics, and Public Health Ministers as well as Counter Narcotics Deputy to answer questions of the legislators over mounting of narcotics production and also increasing number of addicted people throughout the country.

Members of Parliament (MPs)criticized government for its failure in anti-narcotics drive. The criticism comes as the Ministry of Counter Narcotics (MoCN) and the United Nation Office on Drug and Crime (UNoDC) on Sunday released its 2016 survey, in which showed 43 percent rose in opium production across the country this year. Survey demonstrated 10 percent increase in narcotic cultivation across the country in 2016.

According to survey, 93 percent of the total opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan took place in the Southern, Western and Eastern regions of the country. The southern region accounted for 59 percent of the total cultivation; the Western for 25 percent and the Eastern for 9 percent. The remaining regions (Northern, Northeastern and Central) together accounted for 7 percent only.

A representative of Farah in Wolesi Jirga, Osman Farahi slammed government over its failure in anti-narcotics operations, saying “poppy cultivation and production expanded enough across the country this year.”

“Government failed to prevent expanding of poppy cultivation as well as increasing number of addicted people,” he added.

Another lawmaker, Sayed Ali Kazemi, said that the government must recognize the main roots and take measure for elimination of narcotics throughout the country.

Criticizing growing of poppy in the country each year, he said that the government should share information in the aspect with public in a bid to fight this deadly phenomenon in a better manner.

Another MP, Shaheedai, said the drug traffickers distributing drugs to the addict people without any fear in Kabul city. However, these trafficker still at large, as security agencies did not detain them.

“Simple access to drug is another reason behind surge in addiction on daily basis.”

Moreover, majority of legislators pointed some shortages in anti-narcotics law and asked for revamp of it. They (MPs) willing overhaul in the law in order to gain further success in anti-narcotics campaign.

Minister of Counter Narcotics, Salamat Azimi in respond to the MPs question, said that ministry has established an anti-narcotics strategic plan which is going to be implemented up to 2020.

She added that the strategy is included of eradication, fighting narcotics and reinforcement of anti-narcotics law across the country.

Baz Mohammad Ahmadi, Deputy Minister of Interior for Counter Narcotics, termed lack of capacity and modern equipment as a main challenge over government failure to gain further achievements in fight against narcotics.

“Three million people are involve in narcotics deals, but the ministry has only 2,500 counter narcotics police(CNP) to deal with,” he added.

He added that CNP arrested 780 suspected drug traffickers in the past seven months only in Kabul, the capital city.

“Some 115 smugglers arrested in Hamid Karzai International Airport, who were wanted to carry drugs abroad, placing it in their abdomen,” he underlined.

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