International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, 1997.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS AND LAW ENFORCEMENT AFFAIRS WASHINGTON DC
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Afghanistan continued as the worlds second largest producer of opium poppy, according to USCi estimates. Opium gum production was approximately 1,265 metric tons MT in 1997, slightly above the 1,230 MT produced in 1996. Continued warfare, destmction of the economic infrastmcture and absence of a recognized central government with administrative control over the entire country remain obstacles to effective dmg control. Other major impediments to meaningful countemarcotics progress include inaction and lack of political will of the Taliban faction, which controls 96 per cent of Afghanistans opium-growing areas, as well as substantial dmg trade involvement on the part of some local Taliban authorities. An estimated 95 percent of Afghanistans opium poppy cultivation and most of Southwest Asias morphine base and heroin processing laboratories are located in territory controlled by the Taliban. The Taliban, formed by religious students, began its military campaign in Afghanistan in 1994 and assumed effective control over two thirds of the country in fall 1996. The Taliban condemned illicit dmg cultivation, production, trafficking and use in 1997, but took no action to decrease poppy cultivation or to eliminate opiate processing laboratories. The Taliban called for international alternative development assistance as a precondition to eradicating opium poppy cultivation.
- Sociology and Law