Afghanistan’s Poppy Production Soars, Global War on Drugs ‘Further’ Fails

Kabul, Afghanistan- ‘In Afghanistan it (global war on drugs) is a failing war.’

101 East, Al Jazeera’s documentary programme, with its chief presenter Steve Chao, travels into the Taliban territory to see a drug smuggler who admits his operation and says the government will never curb the country’s drug trade because they will never let go of it and because they tasted the profits.

The expose digs deep into the drug world of Afghanistan, where 90 percent of opium supply in the world is coming from. It reveals how the government is failing on its drug war, making Afghanistan a ground zero with the drug trade.

Afghanistan’s poppy farms are flourishing and its crop cultivation is hitting record highs in 2014. [Poppy is the source of the main ingredient in heroin – opium.]

‘Drug Tsunami,’ Says an Afghan Health Official

Not only that Afghanistan is the leading supplier of opium, producing 90 percent of the world’s supply, but its people are also leaders in heroin addiction. (Number of addicts soars to three million from only 500,000 two years ago).

The country’s facing a drug epidemic, which sources say, are more dangerous than terrorist groups (such as the Taliban).

When asked if the government would stop them from illegal business, the smuggler said that sometimes the government raids them, but they have many labs to hide the drugs. He notes, the country’s border is porous, so stopping the flow is impossible as well.

People turn to drugs for (their) reasons.

Karim Kambari, a Kabul resident and heroin addict, said that he turned to drugs and came to live under the bridge (along with sewage) where addicts live, too, after not being able to find a job.

The unidentified drug smuggler says that even if the authorities are doing efforts in policing drug traffickers, they (smugglers) have Taliban’s protection for continuing the business in exchange for money.

He said that these men were never touching their stuff, but they were guarding the fields (in exchange of 10 percent tax).

What can you say about this story? Would Afghanistan’s government still be able to fight and stop drug trafficking, poppy production and drug epidemic? Let you voice be heard by writing in the comment below.

Photo Credit: Al Jazeera

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