Officials of the Anti-Narcotics Force informed the Senate’s Standing Committee on Interior and Narcotics Control that 45 percent of drugs manufactured in Afghanistan pass through Pakistan. These drugs are largely heroine and opium. They told the Committee about the UN’s findings that the poppy cultivation in Pakistan has ceased. They admitted at the same time that if they could stop the transfer of chemicals used to process poppy into opium into Afghanistan, its production would dramatically drop. The ANF’s war on drugs is appreciated given that it has been fighting the scourge with limited resources and manpower.
Afghanistan’s bad luck has been that because of poverty, the poppy cultivation and production of heroine has always remained an attraction for poor farmers who are paid handsomely by the drug smugglers. Poppy remained the order of the day under Taliban’s rule; the situation did not change and according to reports got worse after the US invasion of the country when more and more farmers turned to growing poppy. A large part of the resistance including the Taliban are still relying on the crop to rake in cash for the insurgency. Now Pakistan being its neighbour sharing a long border and its main link of trade to the rest of the world also has a role to play as the ANF officials have revealed. What the Afghan government can do is to ensure that the ban on crop’s cultivation is truly enforced.