H.E. President Hamid Karzai orders anti-drug summit

Kabul, December 4, 2004 – H.E. President Hamid Karzai has called senior figures in the country including religious elders and political representatives to a two-day summit on tackling illicit drugs which will begin December 9 in Kabul. State-run daily Anis published a presidential decree giving details of the summit, which is intended to explore ways of combating the huge growth in the illegal drug trade in post-Taliban Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is the largest opium producer in the world, and H.E. President Karzai has put tackling the problem at the top of his agenda.

The Taliban regime banned poppy cultivation, but farmers began to grow the crop once again after the fall of the regime in late 2001. The summit will amongst other things discuss alternative livelihoods for such farmers.

Earlier in the week, the Afghan Special Narcotics Force (ASNF) destroyed six active drugs labs along with nine tons of opiate in the country's north-eastern province of Badakhshan, according to Afghan police.