By: Suraya Raiszada
The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) in its new report has informed of the increasing control of Taliban on poppy cultivation network in Afghanistan, stating that Afghanistan officials estimate Taliban income from narcotics between June 2018 and June 2019 amounted to approximately $400 million.
In the meantime, SIGAR has noted that the Taliban income from narcotics and poppy cultivation has been more than the mentioned amount.
“The Taliban now controls all aspects of narcotics production, which likely indicates that their total revenues are even higher,” SIGAR said. It is said that most of the Taliban income comes from drug-trafficking. Besides, poppy cultivation has changed to a common business in the Taliban under-control areas. During its regime, Taliban had banned poppy cultivation; therefore, narcotics production had reached to most zero in Afghanistan.
With military presence of the US and its allies in Afghanistan, poppy cultivation has doubled and increased unprecedentedly as the country has changed to one of top producers of narcotics in the world.
Although Afghanistan government have made continued efforts towards eradication and prevention of poppy cultivation and drug-trafficking in the country, there are elements which have made the efforts ineffective; therefore, rooting out this vicious phenomenon requires national and international.
Drug-traffickers are considered as the main supporters and fund-raisers of terrorist groups in various parts of the world. By supporting terrorist groups, the drug-traffickers are making use of their under-control areas for poppy cultivation and producing narcotics.
Increasing narcotics and drug-trafficking have deteriorated security and stability in various parts of the country particularly Badghis and Helmand provinces are considered as areas where poppy is cultivated and produced.
Meanwhile, drug-traffickers are making effort to keep the respective provinces insecure so that they can follow their business and drug-trafficking from incomes of which they get military equipment and arms to fight against Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.
Based on reports, one of the key elements of increasing insecurities in various provinces of the country is the drug-traffickers and mafia.
They are working close with insurgent groups to produce narcotics and traffic them to world markets to boost their income resources.
Afghan political experts believe that security of Afghanistan has been affected by increasing drug-trafficking and poppy cultivation. They have considered this vicious phenomenon as a regional and international issue; therefore, it is necessary that big countries of the world should cooperate with Afghanistan in fully rooting out the phenomenon.
It is worth mentioning that Afghanistan has suffered from both continued war and increasing of drug-trafficking and poppy cultivation.
The government and people of Afghanistan are seriously concerning over increasing drug-trafficking and poppy cultivation as narcotics is considered as the only element boosting and strengthening terrorist groups and resulting in continued war in the country.