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Afghan MP Claims Foreign Troops Aiding Opium Trade

by | Saturday, 1st May 2010
Afghan MP, Nasimeh Niazi, has told Iranian news agency FNA, that foreign forces deployed in Afghanistan are involved in the production and trafficking of opium in the country.

"As long as foreign forces are present in Afghanistan, the cultivation, production and trafficking of drugs will continue in the country," Nasimeh Niazi told FNA.

She also reiterated that Helmand province in southwestern Afghanistan has been transformed into a profitable center for foreign states to earn an expense fund for their deployment in the country.

Heroine-production labs in Helmand, which did not exist before the US-led war in Afghanistan, are now plentiful and work overtly, Niazi added.

Pointing to her recent trip to Helmand province, she said during the trip foreign forces pretended that they were destroying opium poppy farms, but "I realized that they, in fact, destroyed some small farms whose owners were poor farmers who didn't have power and armed forces and had planted one or two hectares of opium poppy" to make a living.

While Afghanistan produced only 185 tons of opium per year under the Taliban, according to UN statistics. Since the US-led invasion, drug production surged to 3,400 tons annually. In 2007, the opium trade reached an estimated all-time production high of 8,200 tons.

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