The Kabul Times.
Politics

NATO to continue cooperation with ANDSF in targeting Taliban drug labs, US commander

By: Lailluma Noori

US-led NATO forces general commander in Afghanistan has informed of NATO’s continued cooperation with Afghan National Defense and Security Forces in conducting operations on drug labs in the country.
At the beginning of the current year, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) informed of halting NATO and US forces’ airstrikes on drug labs in Afghanistan, but now US-led NATO Resolute Support mission general commander in Afghanistan said their forces would continue cooperation with ANDSF in targeting and destroying drug labs in the country.
“If Afghan National Defense and Security Forces ask NATO or US forces for cooperation in targeting and destroying drug labs, we are ready to cooperate,” said Scott Miller US army commander in Afghanistan.
He added that drug labs have been destroyed in organized airstrikes as narcotics and drugs were the main financial resources of terrorist groups.
“If we find out that our cooperation with ANDSF is effective, we’re ready to do so,” Miller said.
Since 2001, Afghanistan government and the international community in particular US has increased its efforts to reduce cultivation of poppy in Afghanistan, but there are still thousands of hectare lands in the country’s west, east and north where poppy is cultivate annually.
Close relations of drug mafias with armed opponent groups, lack of sufficient financial sources, using amended poppy seeds, lack of cooperation of regional and neighboring countries and increasing of price of drugs in world market are all other reasons of increasing poppy cultivation in Afghanistan.
In most areas of the country, there are still farmers who make their agricultural fields and lands for cultivation of poppy, even they pay no consideration to securing forces’ warnings. Increasing of unemployment, insecurity and poverty are also considered as main reasons of increasing poppy cultivation in the country.
Narcotics in Afghanistan are considered as one of the most significant financial resources for Taliban, armed opponent groups, international terrorist groups and drug-traffickers. It is said that drug-trafficking provides 60 percent of Taliban’s incomes. Afghanistan is still one of the biggest producers and exporters of narcotics in the world.
Narcotics is a vicious phenomenon threatening national security and affecting political, economic and national identification of the country. Fighting the phenomenon is one of priorities of relevant organs.
Eradication and rooting out narcotics is not only the job of Afghanistan. Regional countries should accept that narcotics is a big threat to all the region and world. Therefore, joint effort and cooperation of the world and regional countries are needed to tackle the problem.

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The Kabul Times.