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International Security

Pakistan's Cultivation of Opium Drops 59 Percent in 2001

Fact sheet outlines U.S. counter-narcotics efforts

The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) reported that opium poppy cultivation in Pakistan was reduced 59 percent during 2001.

In a fact sheet released by the Department of State June 7, INL stated that 213 hectares of Pakistani land were now used to grow poppies. The fact sheet outlined various concerns and measures the INL was taking to help Pakistani authorities confront domestic narcotics use, and stop the export of drugs from their country.

Along with assistance of supplies, equipment and training to Pakistani law enforcement, INL is helping to fund a crop substitution program designed to encourage farmers to end the cultivation of opium poppies.

Following the September 11 attacks on the United States, INL introduced the $73 million Pakistan Border Security Project aimed at curbing drug trafficking across Pakistan's border with Afghanistan.

"[T]he Project is designed to assist civilian law enforcement agencies under the direction of Pakistan's Ministry of the Interior to better detect and interdict illicit cross-border activities, including narcotics, terrorists and armed militants, contraband of all sorts, and arms and munitions," stated the fact sheet.

Following is a fact sheet released by the Department of State outlining INL's counter-narcotics programs in Pakistan:

U.S. Department of State
Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs Washington, DC June 7, 2002


Fact Sheet
Country Program: Pakistan
Problem

Pakistan has essentially achieved its ambitious goal, developed some years ago, of eliminating opium poppy production by the year 2000. In 2001, Pakistan's opium poppy cultivation dropped to 213 hectares, a reduction of 59 percent from 2000, with the remaining cultivation taking place in areas of the Khyber Agency which are virtually inaccessible. Despite the best efforts of Pakistan's law enforcement agencies, however, Afghan opiates continue to be trafficked into and through Pakistan, with the majority going to the European market. Pakistan also has a significant domestic addict population, and is an important transit country for the precursor chemical acetic anhydride, which is destined for Afghanistan's heroin laboratories.

U.S. Counternarcotics Goals


  • Engage in vigorous narcotics interdiction efforts: arrest, prosecute, and extradite major traffickers; pass comprehensive money laundering legislation;

  • Continue to deny Pakistani territory to heroin laboratories, expand the poppy cultivation ban, and further reduce poppy cultivation through alternative development assistance;

  • Increase security along Pakistan's long land border with Afghanistan, in order to reduce both drug trafficking and transit of terrorists; and

  • Build support for action to deal with Pakistan's domestic drug problem.

U.S. Programs

The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs' (INL) counternarcotics programs focus on narcotics law enforcement, demand reduction, and eliminating the last remnants of opium poppy cultivation. INL funds alternative development/poppy reduction projects designed to woo farmers from growing opium in Mohmand and Bajaur agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA's). The assistance finances crop substitution, road construction, electrification, and water schemes in poppy growing areas where the Pakistani Government's access is limited due to lack of physical infrastructure and geographic isolation. A similar program is implemented in Dir through a UNDCP project to which the U.S. Government has contributed.


Through law enforcement projects, INL provides equipment, supplies and training to Pakistani law enforcement agencies engaged in counterdrug operations. The Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) receives most of the support, but law enforcement funding also assists Customs, the Coast Guard, and the Frontier Corps.

After September 11, INL s programs in Pakistan took a new direction with the introduction of a $73 million Pakistan Border Security Project. Focused on Pakistan's long land border with Afghanistan, the Project is designed to assist civilian law enforcement agencies under the direction of Pakistan's Ministry of the Interior to better detect and interdict illicit cross-border activities, including narcotics, terrorists and armed militants, contraband of all sorts, and arms and munitions. The Project has four major components: (a) establishing an aviation unit of five helicopters and three fixed-wing surveillance aircraft; (b) radio communications; (c) provision of a substantial number of vehicles in order to increase the mobility of law enforcement officers; and (d) surveillance equipment/optics. In addition, INL programs are focusing on institution-building, placing more emphasis on fundamental police reform.

Pakistan has a significant domestic drug abuse problem, with an addict population estimated to be as high as three million. The Demand Reduction Project enables teachers, social workers, and parents to recognize narcotics abuse and helps them understand addition issues. In-depth press briefings and journalist visits to poppy cultivation areas focus media attention on Pakistan's drug problems and increase Pakistani drug awareness.


Created: 07 Jun 2002 Updated: 00 Dec 0000

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