Kabul, Apr 3 (EFE).- The Taliban leader Mullah Haibutullah Akhundzada banned the cultivation of poppies, opium and other narcotic substances in Afghanistan as of Sunday.
“As per the decree of the supreme leader of Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, all Afghans are informed that from now on, poppy cultivation has been strictly prohibited across the country,” the Taliban government’s deputy spokesperson Bilal Karimi said.
“If anyone violates the decree, the crop will be destroyed immediately and the violator will be treated according to Sharia law,” he added.
The document also bans the trafficking of drugs, such as alcohol, heroin, or hashish, and drug production factories.
“Usage, transportation, trade, export and import of all types of narcotics such as alcohol, heroin (…) including dug manufacturing factories in Afghanistan are strictly banned,” the decree read.
Afghan farmers were informed by the Taliban government of this new measure before it was made public.
“The Taliban had not banned poppy cultivation and it has been widely cultivated in the country, and they also collected their taxes, but recently they said not to cultivate poppies,” Najibullah, a farmer from the southwestern Nimrooz province told Efe.
The Taliban swept back to power on 15 August with the promise of ending the opium cultivation in Afghanistan, the main global producer, with a record harvest of 6,800 tons last year.
The international community and United Nations reports underlined that in the past the Islamists used the income produced by this drug.
With the crisis worsening, the Taliban were forced to postpone their promise to seek alternative solutions for workers whose income depends on opium cultivation, mainly in southern and southwestern areas of Afghanistan.
Thus far, they have not offered an alternative for this sector of the Afghan population. EFE