THE TALIBAN CONTROL OF HEROIN DRUG PRODUCTIONS  IN AFGHANISTAN , AS THE TALIBAN RELIES MORE AND MORE ON DRUGS.THE OPIUM PRODUCTION HAS GROWN, THE TALIBAN HAS ASSUMED A BIGGER ROLE IN IT.DERIVING MUCH OF ITS INCOME FROM DRUG TRADE!

HISTORICALLY, the Taliban has had a complicated relationship with the drug trade. In some respects, the deep involvement of Taliban commanders in drug trafficking is nothing new.In fact, part of the Taliban’s success in the drug trade has been fueled by a rapprochement of convenience with their longtime mortal enemies: former members of the Northern Alliance.Despite a decade of costly US and international counter-narcotics programmes, poppy farming has boomed in southern and western regions, which include the most volatile parts of the country where the Taliban insurgency is strongest.

The Taliban’s new role as Afghanistan’s drug mafia in the Afghan Taliban generally lived after being kicked out of their home country in 2001. Modest cement-block and mud-brick, one- and two-story homes sit cheek by jowl along the narrow, largely unpaved streets and open sewers. Graffiti such as “Long Live Mullah Omar” and “Long Live the Jihad” are scrawled on walls; the black-and-white flag of a pro-Taliban political party flies over many homes.Taliban leaders, in other words, are a lot richer than they used to be just a few years ago—and the source of their sudden influx of wealth is no secret in Afghanistan and Pakistan.Drugs are ultimately providing the money, food, weapons, and suicide bombers to the insurgency and the good life to Taliban leaders in Quetta, Karachi, and across Afghanistan.The drug trade, of course, has been an important part of Afghanistan’s economy for a long time—exploited by former Northern Alliance warlords, corrupt government officials, and other major traffickers. Local Taliban leaders have long benefited as well. But now the Taliban’s central leadership has decided it wants in. And drug trafficking has become such a pervasive part of the organization’s mission that it raises an alarming prospect: should the Taliban’s influence grow following the U.S. withdrawal, is Afghanistan in danger of becoming the world’s first true narcostate? In a dramatic and little-noticed reversal of policy, the Taliban have told farmers in Afghanistan that they are free to start planting poppy seeds again if the Americans decide to launch a military attack.Drug enforcement agencies last night confirmed that they expect to see a massive resumption of opium cultivation inside Afghanistan, previously the world's biggest supplier of heroin.

Poppy farmers in Afghanistan, the world’s leading producer of opium, are often taxed by the Taliban.The southern province of Helmand, however, retained its title as leader in growth of opium, which is used to produce highly addictive heroin.Opium has flourished in Afghanistan since the time of Alexander the Great, when it was used as medicine. But under the Taliban production increased spectacularly, to the point where Afghanistan supplied 80% of Europe's heroin. In the year before Mullah Omar's edict, some 82,000 hectares of land were planted with poppy.

Afghanistan is the world’s top producer of opium, producing 90 percent of global supply. The opium trade results in the generation of approximately $68 billion in annual revenue. In 2016, opium production increased by 43 percent mainly due to an increase in insurgency. In addition to this, more than 2.9 million Afghans are involved in opium production one way or another, which is more than 12 percent of the total population.After the election of 2014 and the formation of a National Unity Government (NUG), there were hopes that the NUG would fight narcotics, corruption and strengthen the rule of law. But 2016 has turned out to be a year of rising drug output in Afghanistan, which quickly dashed these hopes.Moreover, about $3 billion of the total opium produced remains in Afghanistan. The Taliban is earning up to $400 million annually from the illicit drugs, particularly from the restive Southern provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, and Nimruz. This income from drugs goes to fund the Taliban’s war engine, which has continued for more well over a decade now and remains alarming.Afghanistan is the world’s top producer of opium, producing 90 percent of global supply. The opium trade results in the generation of approximately $68 billion in annual revenue. In 2016, opium production increased by 43 percent mainly due to an increase in insurgency. In addition to this, more than 2.9 million Afghans are involved in opium production one way or another, which is more than 12 percent of the total population.After the election of 2014 and the formation of a National Unity Government (NUG), there were hopes that the NUG would fight narcotics, corruption and strengthen the rule of law. But 2016 has turned out to be a year of rising drug output in Afghanistan, which quickly dashed these hopes.
Moreover, about $3 billion of the total opium produced remains in Afghanistan. The Taliban is earning up to $400 million annually from the illicit drugs, particularly from the restive Southern provinces of Helmand, Kandahar, and Nimruz. This income from drugs goes to fund the Taliban’s war engine, which has continued for more well over a decade now and remains alarming.When the Taliban ordered Afghanistan’s fields cleared of opium poppies seven years ago because of Islam’s ban on drugs, fearful farmers complied en masse.Today, officials say the militia nets tens of millions by forcing farmers to plant poppies and taxing the harvest, driving the country’s skyrocketing opium production to fund the fight against what they consider an even greater evil.

Taliban fighters in recent weeks essentially dropped the fight to assist in the harvest, giving respite to the struggling 215th Division of the Afghan National Security Forces in Helmand province.A typical Afghan farmer can get $200 for a kilogram of opium produced from poppy.Afghan farmers are growing more opium today than at any time in recent memory.

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