The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Afghan farmers need urgent assistance & alternative livelihoods

28 January 2022. Nawi Deh village, Daman district, Kandahar, Afghanistan. A farmer shows his wheat field planted with certified seeds distributed by FAO.

Since the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) takeover in mid-August 2021, numerous progress has been made in various areas. One of the most considerable achievements obtained in the past two years is the Islamic Emirate’s most successfully counter-narcotics effort, which is considered as unprecedented. With the takeover, the Islamic Emirate has imposed a complete ban on poppy cultivation and trafficking in Afghanistan but has always called on the international community to help Afghan farmers develop alternative livelihoods. In the most recent development, Afghan and U.S. delegations have met in Doha, the capital of Qatar, to discuss counter-narcotics. In the meeting, the IEA spokesperson in Qatar Dr. Mohammad Naeem stressed that there is an urgent need for serious assistance and alternative livelihood for farmers whose crops have been cleared of drugs. Taking to X, formerly Twitter, Dr. Naeem said that the IEA’s delegation has briefed the U.S. officials on the IEA’s serious efforts in the fight against drugs in Afghanistan, including the achievements and progress made in curbing poppy cultivation, preventing drug trafficking, and treating drug addicts. He said that the IEA delegation has also pointed out the responsibility of the United Nations and the international community in addressing the challenges, needs, and opportunities in this area, and added that the Islamic Emirate is ready and willing to allow the United Nations and the international community to visit areas in Afghanistan where poppy cultivation has been eradicated. The delegation also said that there is a collective responsibility, including that of the United Nations and the international community, to create suitable job opportunities for drug addicts, as the drug problem is a global one and everyone suffers from it. Separate meetings have already been also held with the British ambassador and UN representatives in Doha on this matter. The Islamic Emirate’s progress and achievements in the area of counter-narcotics is unprecedented. The IEA’s successful efforts in the area of narcotics have been praised at national and international levels. The Telegraph has once published an article that praised the Islamic Emirate’s successful counter-narcotics effort in Afghanistan. The newspaper’s article titled ‘How the IEA launched the ‘most successful counter-narcotics effort in human history’ said that America’s “war on drugs,” launched by President Richard Nixon in 1971, raged for more than half a century but hardly put a dent in the Afghan opium trade. According to the Telegraph, the country’s farms account for more than 80 percent of the world’s opium production but even the American invasion in 2001 did little to disrupt the flow of drugs out of the nation. But now, where the world’s drug enforcement community has failed, the Islamic Emirate themselves are succeeding. The newspaper goes ahead and says it is not the first time that the Islamic Emirate attempted to clamp down on poppy production in Afghanistan, which itself has long struggled with heroin addiction. A similar ban was imposed in 2000, the last time the IEA was in power. As the Islamic Emirate has stepped up counter-narcotics efforts across Afghanistan, it is time that the international community particularly relevant world agencies should provide necessary assistance and alternative livelihoods for farmers whose crops have been cleared of drugs. The Islamic Emirate is ready to fully cooperate in this regard. Samiullah Momand

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.