Afghanistan "Narco-State": UN
Opium production in Afghanistan last year reached 4,200 tonnes - 1000 tonnes more than in 2003
SBS, March 3, 2005
Afghanistan’s government says it will take tougher measures against drugs after a UN agency report concluded the country was becoming a narcotic state.
The International Narcotics Control Board’s report found that opium production in Afghanistan last year reached 4,200 tonnes - 1000 tonnes more than in 2003.
It’s a level not seen since the Taliban were in power.
In a statement President Hamid Karzai’s office said, “The Government of Afghanistan, within the help of the international community, is firmly pursuing the fight against narcotics on all fronts.”
In and effort to make Afghanistan a “narcotic-free country”, the government said it would crack down on drug production, punish traffickers and destroy poppy fields.
The government was “working to close drug markets, seize narcotics which are being smuggled all over Afghanistan and to arrest those involved in drug smuggling.”
When President Karzai came into office in December he pledged a holy war on drugs.
But the World Bank says opium production has become the Afghanistan’s leading economic acitivity, locking it into a vicious cycle with drug warlords.
Last year Afghanistan authorities seized more than 80 tonnes of drugs and shut down more than 75 narcotics labs.