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World


India concerned at record opium production in Afghanistan

India concerned at record opium production in Afghanistan

United Nations, Dec 22 (UNI) India has voiced serious concern over the rise in opium production and the increase in the areas under opium cultivation in Afghanistan because of the drug's role in fuelling terrorism.

Deputy Permanent Representative Tanmaya Lal said Afghanistan's opium cultivation and production hitting record levels in 2017 as highlighted in the UN Office on Drug and Crime are a cause for serious concern, especially its role in perpetuating the cycle of terrorism.

"This drug trafficking is also not a local concern. The international networks that control this illegal trade have to be identified and tackled. The problem needs to be addressed through verifiable measures and actions," he said, participating in an open debate on the situation in Afghanistan on Thursday.

The UN Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) in its Afghanistan Opium Survey 2017 reported an 87 per cent rise in production compared to 2016. UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov on Wednesday said it was high time for the international community and Afghanistan to reprioritise drug control and that every nation has "a shared responsibility for this global problem.”

Without drugs, the war in Afghanistan "would have been long over", Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has said.

Reports emerging from the region also say the Taliban has been drawing a larger portion of its revenue from the drug trade.

Lal said the Security Council can effectively utilise the 1988 sanctions regime in the context of funds that the terrorist networks are generating, but "this has not happened."



"We need to go after the leaders of the terrorist organsations. We need to investigate and designate the illicit drugs trafficking business in the country," he said.

The deputy permanent representative said the deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan over the last few months is a matter of serious concern.



He said while new threats emerge from the Daesh, the Security Council cannot even decide whether to designate the new leaders of Taliban or to freeze the assets of the slain leader of the group more than a year after the issue was brought to its attention.

Also, he said, the support for terrorist organisations like the Taliban, the Haqqani Network, Daesh, Al Qaeda and its designated affiliates such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed from outside Afghanistan, must be forced to stop.

"All safe havens and sanctuaries available to such groups outside Afghan borders must end."

UNI SRJ

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