The Taliban prohibited the cultivation of poppies in May 2000. The following year U.S-led forces invaded the country and its lucrative drugs trade was restored and soon exceeded previous levels. Afghanistan now produces 90% of the world’s opium.
Afghanistan is America’s longest war, and it seems it could go on indefinitely. President Trump has said he ‘will pursue a new foreign policy that finally learns from the mistakes of the past’ but has inherited a blunder that he is going to find very difficult to rectify. The situation in Afghanistan is dire to the point of disaster.
The US-NATO military alliance directed the war from 2003 to 2014 when it was announced that its combat operations would cease and the US would leave a residual force until the end of 2016 (now extended). Some thousands of US soldiers, under the ‘Freedom’s Sentinel’ Mission, continue combat operations but other foreign contingents are confined to training and advising the Afghan army.
If the Taliban take over Afghanistan it is most unlikely there would be any direct threat to the United States. Life would be hell for ordinary citizens, but since when has Washington worried about such things? It has supported rebellions and coups in Libya, Syria and Ukraine, and none of these has resulted in a better life for ordinary citizens. President Trump declared that ‘From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. America first… they’ve defended other nation’s borders while refusing to defend their own; and spent trillions of dollars overseas while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay.’ But will he really ‘learn from the mistakes of the past’?
So here it’s not our matter of discussion but ‘Opium’ is, which is also known as poppy tears, is the dried material obtained from the opium poppy. A plant that grows annually, it contains 12% morphine which is chemically transformed to produce heroin for illegal drug trading. It is interesting to note that heroin has twice the potency of morphine. This heroin can be taken orally, be inhaled or can be had by injecting itself into the veins, through an injection. UN (United Nations) estimates that there are an estimated 4 million opium users around the world. The countries that produce opium need not necessarily be the largest consumers of it. Exporting it from the source country to other countries is another way to increase trade and revenue. The opium plant is a beautiful plant on the outside, but on the inside, it is a completely different story! Afghanistan’s opium production has always been a threat to global security and since the past decade, it has been more so. The illegal trade however is playing havoc on the economy of the country and undermining its security too. Afghanistan has been marked at an export value of 4 billion dollars, where only a quarter goes to the opium farmers. The rest travels back to the drug trafficking dealers, warlords and the district officials. Should it be banned?
Afghanistan is also a drug addicted capital! To buy heroin in Kabul is “as easy as buying yourself something to eat”, addicts say. One gram costs about $6 (£3.91), and it’s available in every corner of the city.
“We are already losing our children to suicide attacks, rocket and bomb attacks,” they says. “But now addiction is another sort of terrorism which is killing our countrymen.” says Jawid, 18 years old boy.
In a hospital in the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif,An Afghan woman, Fatima, who had taken opium while suffering from bleeding after childbirth, because it was cheaper than going to a doctor.
Then she gave it to her baby to stop her coughing during breastfeeding – and now both are addicted.
The reasons why so many Afghans are turning to drugs are complex. It’s clear that decades of violence have played a part. Unemployment – which currently stands at nearly 40% – is also taking its toll.