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Counternarcotic efforts govt’s top priority: Abdullah

AT-KABUL: Terming poppy cultivation and drug smuggling as main hurdles for the government, Chief Executive Officer, Abdullah Abdullah, on Monday criticized top authorities for turning their back on counter-narcotics efforts in past years.

Abdullah told the Council of Ministers (CoM) session that poppy cultivation and drug trafficking will increase insecurity in the country if the situation prevails. He said that big drug traffickers continue their illicit business by their colleagues while they are in prison due to lack of coordination among security agencies. “This has not only increased insecurity but also has mounted endemic corruption in public offices. This also has created a gap in the system. We should prioritize elimination of our counternarcotics efforts,” he added.

Afghanistan due to sharing long borders with its neighbors has played main role in poppy cultivation and illicit drugs business. Moreover, it seems that parts of big cities have been changed into resting place for drug addicts.

According to Abdullah, the National Unity Government has prioritized elimination of poppy cultivation and overcoming of drug trafficking in a bid to end this challenge in the country.

The remarks come as a number of government agencies are reportedly involved in helping drug traffickers. In the meantime, drug traffickers earn millions of dollars from poppy cultivation annually.

Reports suggest that part of the money goes into militants’ pocket. However, a number of critics believe the government is not able to eradicate the illicit business.

Quoted by Radio Azadi, former Minister of Counternarcotics, General Khudaidad, said big drug dealers are inside the government.

According to him, the drug dealers have links with their counterparts in Pakistan, Iran, Central Asia, Russia and European countries. “Currently, Afghanistan is the biggest producer of narcotics,” he added.

He said drugs are smuggled to Iran, Pakistan, Central Asia, Russia and European countries. He added the government and the international community have the list of those involved in drug smuggling, which travel in tented-glasses vehicles and support drug dealers.

Critics suggest that the government should trial drug dealers who are under custody of police otherwise prioritizing elimination of this phenomena is not more than a slogan.

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