Afghanistan’s sorry state

Afghanistan is not only the largest opium-producing and heroin trafficking country in the world, but also the largest drug-consuming countries in the world in proportion to its population

Afghanistan drugs

Afghan drug addicts smoke heroin inside a cave in Farah province February 4, 2015. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Paper’s scathing attack on USA, West, UN for Afghanistan’s sorry state

Excerpt from an editorial by Mir Najibullah Shams entitled “The international community is concerned over the unprecedented increase in production of opium, heroin in Afghanistan” published in Dari by Afghan newspaper Arman-e Melli on 21 January.

The emergence of the deadly tsunami and the bloody tides that caused the brutal military aggression Afghanistan and the continuous political intervention by the imperialist and colonialist countries USA and its Western allies in Afghanistan towards the end of 2001, have not only turned Afghanistan into the largest opium-producing and heroin trafficking country in the world, but also changed it into an Afghanistan which has become one of the largest drug-consuming (hashish, opium and heroin) countries in the world in proportion to its population.

Besides that, the USA and UK, have turned Afghanistan into a platform of rising and endless proxy-intelligence wars by the neighboring countries, the region, and NATO state members. With every passing day the political, military, economic and social conditions in our country become more complex and worse than before.

It is worth mentioning that based on paragraph (3) of Article (5) of the historical agreement of December 2001 signed in Germany’s Bonn, the British government had taken on the responsibility of controlling the numerous drug problems in Afghanistan. This was the reason why British troops decided to set up their military base in Helmand Province. Besides Helmand hosting a major military base [belonging to the UK] it is also of the major centres in Afghanistan for poppy cultivation, opium production and heroin trafficking.

Chronology of the past 15 years confirms this bitter reality that by providing useless and inoperative consultations by consultants, experts, and drug experts from the UK, the USA, Afghanistan and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), despite spending more than 10 billion US dollars and British pounds and despite the consumption of all the financial resources and all technical facilities for the eradication and reduction of poppy cultivation, opium production, morphine and heroin processing and preventing the Afghan citizens from becoming addicted to drugs, they have not only failed but also brought about the expansion of poppy cultivation. At the same, we saw opium production increasing from 4,800 tonnes to 9,000 tonnes compared to last year.[Passage omitted: general comments]

We cannot hide the fact that the UNODC Office in Kabul and its field offices in some provinces of Afghanistan have been operating under the name of counter-narcotics for 28 years. Since 1989, it has spent billions of US dollars, British pounds and European euro’s aid to Afghanistan under the guise of providing financial and technical assistance to poppy farmers for (alternative livelihoods) and financing development projects to reduce poppy cultivation and opium production on the territory of Afghanistan.

If the UNODC and the National Unity Government… do not hide the facts regarding the unprecedented increase in the production of opium and heroin Afghanistan in 2017, a large proportion of the 12bn dollars financial and technical aid by the USA and the UK was used to pay the salaries of officials, advisors, national and international senior officials, purchasing armoured vehicles, holding costly and useless gatherings, paying rent for luxury houses, buying air tickets for foreign trips, paying travel costs, purchasing furniture and paying for overtime.

In other words, a large part of the billions of dollars financial and technical assistances of the donor countries (America and Britain) and the international community did not go to the poppy farmers and instead the money went to the pockets of top government officials… domestic and international employees of the UNODC and the Counter-Narcotics Ministry. [Passage omitted: repetition]

According to the figures published on national and international mass media outlets, in the past 15 years the number of drug addicts in Afghanistan has risen from 3,000 people to over three million.

The number of drug addicts jumps up in Afghanistan with every passing day for several reasons. The disastrous phenomenon of international terrorism, addiction to different types of natural and industrial drugs is the biggest challenge facing the countries in the world, including the National Unity Government (NUG) of Afghanistan. The leaders of the NUG government must pay due attention to this sensitive, vital and national issue which is that Afghanistan has the highest number of drug addicts in the world in proportion to its size and this is very worrying.

I [author] believe that our country’s ever increasing three million drug addicts can unfortunately and undoubtedly throw away all the rules and regulation of this war-torn society in the future and plunge the hungry nation of Afghanistan into the pit of darkness and devastation.

Source: Arman-e Melli, Kabul, in Dari 21 Jan 18
© 2018 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved

Afghan, US forces attack Taliban’s opium processing labs in south

The Afghan and US forces have destroyed eight opium processing labs in southern Helmand Province, vowing to destroy Taliban’s source of finance, Afghanistan’s 1TV reported on 20 November.

This is the first time that forces belonging to the US-NATO Resolute Support Mission have taken part in the counter-narcotics operation in Afghanistan.

Gen John Nicholson, the commander of US forces in Afghanistan, has said that the US is committed to eliminating insurgents in the country, warning that if the Taliban do not stop violence they will be killed.

Afghan Army Chief Gen Sharif Yaftali says the Afghan forces are carrying out operations based on a calculated plan.

He said: “We are focusing on three main targets. Firstly, we will focus on the main leadership of the Taliban and terrorists in Afghanistan. Secondly, we will destroy their logistic, finance and arms sources. Thirdly, we will destroy their human resources.”

Gen Nicholson has also said that attacks on Taliban’s sources of finance will continue in Afghanistan and region.

Source: Arman-e Melli, Kabul, in Dari 21 Jan 18
© 2018 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved

Officials worried about addiction of police to drugs in Afghan south

Local officials have described addiction of police forces to drugs as the main reason behind fall of some outposts to the government armed opponents in southern Urozgan Province, Afghan privately-owned Shamshad TV news reported on 29 October.

“The addict servicemen, officers, and commanders are not able to properly carry out their duties, therefore, the enemy captures some outposts very quickly…,” Urozgan deputy police chief, Shafiqullah Tahiri, said.

Tahiri further said that the security forces had sustained casualties due to the recruitment of addicted men at the police ranks.

According to the report, there are around 15,000 drug addicts in the southern province and they have disrupted the social life of people in the province.

“We have around 15 to 16 thousand addicts in Urozgan Province,” the provincial directorate of Counter-Narcotics Department, Abdul Zahir Salari, told a gathering.

Source: Shamshad TV, Kabul, in Pashto 1430gmt 29 Oct 17
© 2017 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved

Afghan poppy cultivation level unprecedented

Afghanistan opium

Raw opium from a poppy head is seen in a poppy farmer’s field in Zhera district, west of Kandahar city, Afghanistan April 29, 2005. Drug production has flourished since U.S.-led forces ousted the Taliban in 2001 and the United Nations says drugs and trafficking gangs are one of the country’s most serious problems as it struggles to restore stability. Picture taken April 29, 2005. REUTERS/Ismail Sameem

Text of report by private Shamshad TV 1430 gmt 13 Sep 16

[Presenter] The level of opium poppies cultivated in 20 provinces is unprecedented. The counter-narcotics ministry admits that this year its anti-narcotics campaign was ineffective. Senior officials attribute the rise in poppy cultivation mainly to violence.

[Correspondent] Afghanistan is the biggest opium producer in the world and has suffered losses rather than receiving any advantage from it. Poppy cultivation increases every passing year which in turn adds to the number of drug addicts. Helmand is the province where more opium poppies are grown than in any other province of the country. Therefore, fighting has also intensified there.

[An unknown person speaking in Pashto] The recent intensification of violence in Helmand and fall of several districts also paved the way for poppy cultivation. Unlike in the past, opium poppies are now grown more than once in Helmand

[Chairman of Security Committee of Helmand Provincial Council Bashir Ahmad Shaker speaking in Pashto] Opium poppies will increase by 90 per cent if the situation is not improved.

[Correspondent] The international drug mafia receives millions of dollars in profits from the Afghan opium smuggling annually. This has also increased the number of young Afghan drug addicts. Konduz and Balkh are the provinces in the north where this year more opium poppies were grown than the past years.

[A Balkh Provincial Councillor Khair Andish speaking in Dari] I believe the security forces lack adequate resources to destroy poppy crops in every district because in most districts there are security problems.

[Correspondent] Nangarhar is the province in the east where opium poppies have been grown at a large scale and violence is said to be its reason.

[An unknown person speaking in Pashto] Opium poppies are grown at a large scale in most districts of Nangarhar in particular in Achin and Chaparhar.

[Another unknown person speaking in Pashto] The level of poppy cultivation this year is much higher than last year. In some districts opium poppies have been grown more than in the other. However, the level of its cultivation is higher this year than last year. The counter-narcotics ministry admits that this year it has not achieved anything this year in its counter-narcotics campaign. Senior officials say that opium poppies have been widely grown in areas where fierce fighting is under way.

[An official of the counter-narcotics ministry speaking in Pashto] I should say that the counter-narcotics ministry has not achieved anything considerable this year compared with the last year. The biggest obstacle impeding the implementation of our counter-narcotics programmes was the intensification of conflict in various provinces.

[Correspondent] Senior officials say that opium poppies are grown in restive provinces where fighting is under way. International drug smugglers have become millionaires smuggling the Afghan drugs and militants are also financing their activities from the drug money.

Source: Shamshad TV, Kabul, in Pashto 1430gmt 13 Sep 16
© 2016 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved


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