Fighting narcotics in Afghanistan is most dangerous and difficult work: minister

Afghanistan, Kabul, Jan. 26 / Trend , A.Hakimi/ Fighting narcotics in Afghanistan is the biggest challenge and most dangerous work, said Afghan Minister of Counter Narcotics General Khodaidad.

"Despite the fact that as a result Afghan government's efforts the cultivation and production of narcotics has decreased, fighting narcotics is still a major problem and the most dangerous work," Khodaidad told Trend .

Under the new project, next year the Ministry will clean 27,500 hectares from cultivation of narcotics, he said.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said in the Parliament that fighting narcotics is one of Afghanistan's main problems. The problem damages the country's image in the international arena.

"In the current year, crop of narcotics in Afghanistan has decreased by 19 percent. We hope this process will be reduced to zero as a result of efforts by the international community and the Government," Khodaidad said.

Afghanistan is ranked first among the countries that produce the greatest quantity of narcotics in the world. According to international organizations, 90 percent of world's narcotics are produced in Afghanistan. However, President Karzai says narcotics are not cultivated in the territories controlled by the Government.

Under the ministry's new project, the national army and police will work together to combat narcotics, said Khodaidad.

"I hope the NATO forces will support us to eliminate the narcotics production centers and to prevent smuggling of narcotics," he said.

According statistics, the Ministry of Counter Narcotics arrested and held accountable 190 people with charge of smuggling of narcotics to juridical bodies in 2008.

"The Afghan government achieved great successes in struggle against narcotics in 2008 compared to previous years," the Afghan Justice Ministry's official Sarir Ahmad Barmak said.

The Ministry of Counter Narcotics confiscated 2,228 kilogram of heroin, 19,228 kilogram of opium, more than 30,000 kilogram of hashish, 63 kilogram of morphine and 4,961 kilogram of aluminum chloride in the country's different regions in 2008, Barmak said.

Aluminum chloride is used to produce heroin. This substance is imported to Afghanistan through smuggling from neighbor countries.

The Afghan government and international community consider narcotics key income sources of terrorists, Taliban and opposition.

Under official statistic, Taliban receives more than $100 million fro narcotics sale each year.

Mafia which is occupied with narcotics smuggling in Afghanistan is well developed and even governmental officials is at one with mafia, experts believe. Experts said that governmental officials' cooperation with mafia is a key problem in struggle against narcotics. On the other hand, the international narcomafia supports production of narcotics in Afghanistan and a present the government cannot combat against them.

"Narcotics are grown in Afghanistan, whilst the European and U.S smugglers implement its smuggling and exporting to the world markets," the Afghan Parliamentary Speaker Sibghatullah Mojaddedi said.

Mojaddedi urged all countries to take serious steps to annihilate narcomafia.

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