Gen. Mohammed Daud Daud, Afghanistan's Deputy Interior Minister, said in an interview Monday that the US and the international community must do more
to provide poppy farmers with alternatives to producing opium for the Taliban. Last year, Afghanistan produced enough opium to make over 400 tons of
heroin, nearly 90% of the world's supply.
Afghan official impatient with drug fight
KABUL, Afghanistan - The international community has been "very slow" to combat Afghanistan's booming trade in opium and heroin, while the Taliban has
forced farmers to plant poppies to fund the rebel insurgency, the country's top anti-drug official said Monday.
The warning came as a U.S. soldier and two civilians were wounded in a suicide bombing, the latest in a series of militant attacks. About 1,600 people
died in such violence last year, making it the deadliest since the Taliban was ousted in 2001.
The anti-drug czar, Gen. Mohammed Daud Daud, promised a crackdown on drug smugglers in 2006. Last year's bumper opium crop - enough to make about 450
tons of heroin - sparked warnings the country is fast becoming a "narco-state" four years after the U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban for harboring
al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
Speaking to reporters earlier Monday, Daud said "2006 will be the year when we will arrest all smugglers, especially those working with the
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I believe stopping illegal opium production in Afghanistan is one of the crucial issues facing the world today. The fact that last year saw a
"bumper crop" of opium produced in this country is simply inexcusable.
The proof is in the pudding, like my old man used to say. If the US and the international community is truly determined to defeat the Taliban and
stop the Afghanistan drug trade, then it is time to put the effort where the rhetoric is, and do something about it.
Otherwise, its time to stop the lip-service, and come right out and say we want the opium and heroin on our streets, we want the addicts and the crime
and the destructive influence it causes, and we aren't really trying to do anything about it.