Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Link between Terrorism and Narcotics
March 13, 2006

Lashkar Gah - "Terrorists and narcotics are very close, they're supporting each other," said Helmand province governor Mohammed Daoud. "When narcotics production is up, terrorism automatically goes up."
Agence France-Presse reported that last week a campaign to destroy opium poppy fields was launched in Southern Helmand, where almost 90 percent of the world’s total opium is grown and the Taliban frequently conducts raids.
"Taliban and smugglers work together because they have a common interest to destabilize the government -- Taliban to feed the people's anger against authorities, smugglers to carry on their business," Haji Mohammed Qasem, head of Helmand's Nad Ali district, told AFP.
Despite anonymous letters threatening farmers to continue growing opium or face Taliban attacks, the poppy eradication campaign has continued. The Helmand governor promised to stop the opium production in the short span of two months. Increased police presence has been built up, as the city is expecting some insurgent attacks.
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Tourism: An Investment for Afghanistan
March 13, 2006
Berlin – There are not many people lined up to visit Afghanistan, but the few people that are interested in traveling there could make a big difference to its economy. Ulf Amann, a German consultant working on a concept to develop tourism in the central Asian nation, told The Middle East Times that it will be some time before Afghanistan produces the level of tourism it had three decades ago.
The Times reported that although the Taliban has destroyed some of Afghanistan’s most prized relics, such as its ancient Buddha statues, restoration efforts are underway. Other plans for creating a sustainable tourism industry include securing “safe and attractive” havens for visitors.
"For the moment, there are few real sources of income other than from drugs," Amann said, referring to the booming poppy industry used to produce heroin. Tourism should be a clean and healthy investment for the country.
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