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Explained: Taliban's war on drugs and it's possible economic fallout

Oct 11, 2021 21:51 IST | By Editorji News Desk

These visuals are from a rehabilitation centre from Kabul where drug addicts from across the city have been brought in by the Taliban soldiers.

It seems that the uncontested rulers of Afghanistan are determined to stamp out the scourge of drug addiction by force.

Below the city's bridges, piles of garbage with filthy water seeping through, one can see hundreds of homeless men addicted to drugs being beaten and rounded up to be taken to treatment centres.
Some even dead after the beating, some facing severe withdrawal symptoms.

With Taliban coming down on the addicts more aggressively and forcefully, a larger economic crisis looms as well.

Afghanistan being the world's largest producer of opium with its production forming the backbone of the nations's economy, it has seen heavy taxations and customs being imposed on it in the past.

Afghanistan's opium harvest accounts for more than 80% of the world's supply with cultivation substantially rising from 41,000 hectares in 1998 to 64,000 hectares in 2000 under Taliban rule.

However, Taliban cracked down on opium poppy farming in July, 2000 which brought down the world's production substantially that year.

With government revenues relying on taxation and opium trade intertwined with Afghanistan's economy, Taliban's similar approach on opium production is likely to dent an already fractured economy.

It would be interesting to see whether Taliban completely bans opium production and overall drug trade or instead tax it heavily to sustain its economy.

Explained: Taliban's war on drugs and it's possible economic fallout

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