Kabul: The drug cartels in Afghanistan are serving the symbiotic relationship with the Taliban by giving farmers the advances to plant the ephedra and opium while the other giving financial assistance to keep the "jihadist proto-state alive" "," Khaama Press reported.
Drug dealing in Afghanistan had become one of the important sources of earning money. The drug cartel uses Pakistani sources to facilitate the acquisition of chemicals required to produce drugs. Moreover, the diverse nationalities are used as hostages until their cartels can afford to pay for the delivery of the drugs, and in return, the terrorist groups offer security services in exchange for payment, said Hamid Pakteen, reported by the Afghan Diaspora Network.
The drug trade from Afghanistan to Pakistan remains unchecked, mainly due to weak investigation procedures and lenient court rulings that allow drug smugglers to evade significant punishment. Afghanistan had become a significant supplier of crystal meth since 2017 when drug traffickers realized that the native ephedra herb could produce ephedrine, a key ingredient in meth production.
Although the Taliban announced a ban on poppy cultivation, use, and dealing during its second administration, the situation is not the same in practice. The cultivation of poppies is in full swing because there is no other source of income. Because the illegal opium trade continues to be a significant source of income for the cash-strapped Taliban administration, it has been reluctant to enforce its embargo.
Between USD 1.8 billion and USD 2.7 billion, or 12 to 14 per cent, of Afghanistan's GDP was attributed to the production of opium in 2021, reported Khaama Press.
Opium output in Afghanistan has increased by 34 per cent despite the cultivation ban; it can be seen, Pakeen claimed.