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Crackdown on poppy cultivation to be stepped up

21 Nov 2019 - 07:11
21 Nov 2019 - 07:11

TIRINKOT (Pajhwok): Irrigation water supply will be halted to farms cultivated with the outlawed poppy crop in central Uruzgan province, says the police chief.

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Khetab Khanjari issued the warning days ahead of the poppy cultivation season in the province.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News combating poppy cultivation in the province would be a priority this year. The police chief called on growers to cultivate other crops instead of poppies.

The illegal crop not only increased addiction among youth but also strengthened the Taliban, fighting the Afghan government.

Khanjari said he had held meetings with religious scholars and urged them to help prevent the cultivation of poppies in the province.

But a number of residents tend to question the stand of security officials in this regard.

Ghulam Nabi Shuja said such statements were made by security bosses every year but growers continued planting the unlawful crop.

He said te remarks against poppy cultivation were meant only for media consumption, as little practical action had been taken in this regard so far.

Residents urged the government and donor agencies to provide growers with alternatives before curbing poppy cultivation.

Syed Karim, an inhabitant of Charmagar area, told Pajhwok alternative corn were being promised since the past 10 years but no action had been taken so far.

He said security forces, including the police chief, often promised a crackdown on poppy cultivation, but the crop was still grown across the province.

Mohammad Karim Karimi, deputy chairman of the Provincial Council, said security officials had no intention to combat drugs in Uruzgan.

In a lighter vein, the public representative said poppies were cultivated close to government offices.

sa/mud

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