Mon April 24, 2017
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Editorial: The curse of drug addiction


Until yesterday, Afghanistan, made headlines just for poppy production and drug industry, however today the rising number of drug addicts in southern Nimroz province particularly of female drug addicts is the talk of the town. The number of drug addicts has reached to 10,000, including 6,000 women. Dr. Noor Ahmad Sherzad, the public health director, says 50 percent of the addicts are those who had returned from Iran. If this neighboring country cannot educate Afghan refugees, at least it shouldn’t let them to be drug addicts. It’s worth satisfaction that a first-ever rehabilitation center for female drug addicts has been inaugurated in Zaranj—the capital of Nimroz. But this center has only ten beds. There should be a drive and mechanism of rehabilitation by the government where more centers and clinics should be built, but why shouldn’t the government destroy what is destroying thousands of citizens silently. Militancy and terrorism is destroying us and we stand united against it, but at the same time poppy cultivation, drug production and drug addiction is destroying many of us, but there is no outcry. In terrorism and drugs production there is only one fundamental difference. And it is the one kills us with banging sounds and we condemn whereas another one kills us but silently that’s why we don’t raise any voice. In this case drug production and use is worst than terrorism. As Afghanistan is a party to the 1988 UN Drug Convention, it has many obligations to check the surge in drug addiction and as well as suppress drug production. It should mount pressure on Iran to protect Afghan refugees from falling into addiction. If street rumors are to be believed, then it looks the state policy of Iran that is encouraging drug addiction among Afghan refugees and at times pushing them into it. Afghan refugees are living in other parts of the world also even Pakistan—a country that has long been pursuing strategic designs in Afghanistan, where more refugees live than in Iran, but it never sent us returnees with drug addiction. Since the revolution in Iran, it had lost around 3,600 law enforcement personnel in the fight against illicit drug trafficking, but the problem is whether their war on drugs is selective? Whether Iran just considers it an Iranian issue and addresses it from that view? It just wants to protect its own citizens and leaving Afghan refugees prone to it? Afghanistan has also failed in suppressing this sordid and poisonous boon because the government has been spending much of its energies on security. The lack of cooperation among the Central Asian states in the war on illicit drugs has also been playing a negative role. Besides they have traditional approaches to suppress this evil trade. States in the region and the international community is cognizant of the fact that some of the money that comes from this evil runs the wheel of militancy, but despite that many governments look weaker to curb drugs trafficking. Some of the money finds its way into the local economy and into the patronage network of public officials. Sometimes those who supposed to be suppressing drugs trafficking turn out to be accomplices of smugglers. The efficiency of the war on illicit drugs trafficking in the central Asian region has been affected by the rivalries among the neighboring states and poor border security managements.


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