For almost ten years of the military operation in Afghanistan, drug traffic from this country has increased several times. And the main stream of Afghan heroin goes through Russia. 18 April in Irkutsk, chaired by Dmitry Medvedev should pass the state council. And the main theme is the fight against drug abuse.
Kandahar market. Sea to the people. Goods: from strawberries to bolts, from galoshes to computers. Million tons of competition per square meter. Traders catch your every look. And do not let go. For drug dealers there is no competition.
"A farmer who grows drugs, clients always come home to him. For fruits, vegetables, you have to look for a market. Folding, selling. And the drug mafia brings an advance, sends agronomists, sets up guards. Poppy seedlings do not need to be watered. Each head grows as much It’s an orange. And it’s not necessary to put it in. The goods are already waiting in the drug laboratories, ”explains the governor of the southern province of Kandahar, Toryalay Vis.
The man in the street believes that the Americans should fight drugs in Afghanistan. This is mistake. The military coalition has a UN mandate. But the topic of drugs is missing there. Moreover, if six years ago, experts from the United States contributed to the destruction of poppy, now they are avoiding it. In order not to induce the ruined peasants to join the Taliban.
There is a UN. Anti-drug budget over a billion dollars. The result is scanty due to the minimum of powers. There is Russia. This is the office of our drug police in Kabul. The main task: to accelerate the work of strategic partners - who has both the strength and the money. Decent officers do a lot, but there are only three of them.
The Afghans themselves are also active. Here are pictures taken in Kandahar this week. Here and the growing poppy, then the destruction and exchange of fire with the bandits. The head of the drug police, General Aga, says: here we have to fight on several fronts at once.
“Our enemies are the Taliban, the terrorists, and the drug mafia. They are interconnected. They help each other to break the law. They are engaged in drug trafficking. They are our enemies. We fight and bear losses,” says the head of the anti-drug police of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Afghanistan Brigadier Aha.
Afghan official, Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs for the fight against drugs. He declares: “We are successful. Over four years, we managed to reduce the level of opium poppy cultivation by 50 percent! Five thousand participants in drug production are behind bars.”
There is a note. Last year, poppy crops ate a fungus. UN laboratories have proven that they are not chemicals. But such rumors circulated that this was a matter for Western experts. Interesting: despite the massive death of poppy, the fears of Americans did not come true. The Taliban did not add new members.
"Consequently, this argument that, with the radical destruction of drug crops, the peasants will join the Taliban in orderly lines, is untenable. For example last year," said Alexei Milovanov, an official representative of the Federal Drug Control Service of Russia in Afghanistan.
As an alternative to drugs, farmers are encouraged to grow other crops. For example, saffron, which, by the way, is more expensive than heroin. Or apples. If we talk about saffron, then India and Iran have been leading here for a long time. It is unlikely to give up their market. But the famous Afghan apples: in Kabul, we could not find them. And this market is busy.
In Kabul, in a conversation with us, the Minister for Counter-Narcotics of Afghanistan, Zarar Morbel, advised: you will reduce the number of drug addicts in Russia. These are all because of them. The demand is huge. But generally need to unite.
“We have a lack of cooperation between law enforcement agencies. There is a shortage in the exchange of operational information between the countries concerned. The transnational mafia feels at ease in such conditions,” explains Zarar Ahmad Mokbel, the Minister for Drug Control of the Republic of Afghanistan.
As an important step, Moscow stands for changing the UN mandate, which will oblige the international coalition to fight not only against terrorists, but also against drug mafia.
“Since the Americans and 49 today have assumed the responsibility of helping Afghans to restore order in this country, they should do it. And don’t try to leave the work done to someone else,” says Russian Ambassador to the Republic of Afghanistan Andrei Avetisyan .
The 20 provinces of Afghanistan today are declared drug free and five more will join them this year. However, here is the trick of statistics. One Helmand province with its poppy fields is enough to keep the export of Afghan heroin at the same level.
Returning to the question of Russia's participation in the destruction of drugs here in Afghanistan: of course, we are not talking about our soldiers with sticks in the poppy fields. Drug Police. Large group: monitoring specialists, operatives, intelligence officers. If we are trying to speed up the work of our strategic partners in the fight against drugs in this country, who should do this? Who will appeal to their own, obtained information, facts, in order to activate their Western colleagues, if such a task stands before Russia in Afghanistan.