Afghanistan ‘will not be a country of opium cultivation anymore’, Taliban states 3 months ago

Afghanistan ‘will not be a country of opium cultivation anymore’, Taliban states

The country is currently the world's largest supplier of opium.

A spokesperson for the Taliban has said that drugs will no longer be produced in Afghanistan under the rule of the Islamist group.

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Zabihullah Mujahid said at a news conference in Kabul yesterday there will be zero drug production or smuggling in the country, adding that seeing young people addicted to drugs makes him "very, very sad."

It is the latest effort from senior Taliban figures to present an agreeable vision of Afghanistan's future under Taliban rule. Several members of the group have spoken to international press following their capture of Kabul.

"There will be no drug production, no drug smuggling. We saw today that our young people were on drugs near the walls; this was making me very, very sad that our youth are addicted," Mujahid said.

"Afghanistan will not be a country of cultivation of opium anymore, but we need international help for that. The international community needs to help us."

Mujahid claimed there was "zero" drug production in Afghanistan when the Taliban were last in power, but that rates had been "high" under the most recent government.

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Whilst it's true that the Islamist group largely eradicated poppy growing for opium production in the mid-2000s, opium production was allowed before this and helped fund the organisation.

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Afghanistan is now the largest illicit opiate supplier in the world, and some experts say that the profit from this trade may help the Taliban keep control of the country.

According to the Independent, UN officials claim that the Taliban are likely to have earned more than £290 million from the drugs trade between 2018 and 2019, although this figure is debated.

Banning poppy growing would certainly affect the Taliban's finances , with Mujahid admitting that the group "need to have help - funding."

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