WHILE echoing Hobbes and Machiavelli, Morgenthau opines that in international politics, countries act upon various immoral activities like deceit, fraud, falsehood and so on. In one way or the other, they also follow these tactics to fulfill their selfish aims. But, in the modern era of electronic and social media including open diplomacy, it is difficult for the sovereign states to continue mal-practices of the past, as sinister politics has been replaced by world’s new trends such as fair-dealings, reconciliation and economic development.
In this respect, the news item, “India accused of using Afghan soil for Heroin smuggling”, published in the leading daily Dawn on March 18, 2015 verified previous reports of India’s involvement in drug smuggling from Afghanistan.
In the recent past, a released video by Washington Free Beacon pointed out that the US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel disclosed during a speech at Oklahoma’s Cameron University in 2011, “India has always used Afghanistan as a second front” and “has over the years financed problems for Pakistan on that side of the border.” Earlier, the then NATO commander in Afghanistan, Gen. McChrystal had revealed: “Indian political and economic influence is increasing in Afghanistan…is likely to exacerbate regional tensions.”
In fact, by availing the golden opportunity of the 9/11, India has signed a number of bilateral agreements with Kabul, during the regime of Afghanistan’s former President Hamid Karzai in getting its hold in Afghanistan by manipulating US strategy. New Delhi which has already invested billion of dollars in Afghanistan, signed a wide-ranging strategic agreement with that country on October 5, 2011 also includes to help train Afghan security forces, while assisting Kabul in diversified projects. Apparently, it is open strategic agreement, but secretly, India seeks to further strengthen its grip in Afghanistan to get strategic depth against Islamabad.
In this regard, stiff resistance of the Taliban militants against the occupying forces created unending lawlessness in the country which has become a most suitable place for Indian secret agency RAW to implement a conspiracy to fulfill its country’s strategic designs against Iran, China and particularly Pakistan, while achieving collective goals of the US against these countries including Russia.
Especially, based in Afghanistan, Indian consulates including agents of RAW, who are also supporting Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), are behind various acts of terrorism in Pakistan such as target killings, bomb blasts, suicide attacks, assaults on civil and military installations including churches, religious leaders etc. to destabilize Pakistan. They have also perennially been arranging similar subversive acts in Balochistan. They are also engaged in Afghanistan for disruption of CPEC projects of Pakistan for the regional connectivity.
As a matter of fact, with the cooperation of ex-president Karzai and Afghan intelligence-National Directorate of Security (NDS), and with the tactical assistance of American CIA and Israeli Mossad, RAW has well-established espionage network in Afghanistan, which has also been used for smuggling of drugs so as to obtain Indian sinister designs in the region, particularly against Pakistan.
Columnist Abby Martin discloses that the US government has had a long history of facilitating the global drug trade: In the 1950s, it allowed opium to be moved, processed and trafficked throughout the Golden Triangle in Southeast Asia while it trained Taiwanese troops to fight Communist China. In the 80s, the CIA provided logistical and financial support to anti-Communist Contras in Nicaragua who were also known international drug traffickers.
Martin questions “It’s hard to believe that a region under full U.S. military occupation – with guard posts and surveillance drones monitoring the mountains of Tora Bora – aren’t able to track supply routes of opium exported from the country’s various poppy farms (you know, the ones the U.S. military are guarding).” It is ironic that the same Taliban that the U.S. led troops wanted to defeat and annihilate were the ones who had plugged Afghanistan’s age old narcotic trade. Prior to the War in Afghanistan, the Taliban actually offered subsidies to farmers to grow food crops not drugs. In the summer of 2000, Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar announced a total ban on the cultivation of opium poppy. Offenders were physically beaten while their faces were blackened and they were paraded through villages to set an example. The only opium harvest the following spring was in the northeast, in an area controlled by the Taliban’s rivals, the Northern Alliance.
Journalist Matthieu Aikins, writing for “Rolling Stone” in 2012, noted” Opium production fell from an estimated 3,276 tons in 2000 to 185 tons in 2001.” Then 9/11 occurred. Dr. Steven Kassels observed in his 2015 article for “Social Justice Solutions” “When the Taliban fled or went into hiding; the farmers lost their financial support to grow food, and returned to growing heroin, a crop that thrives in regions of Afghanistan.” Seeking a “light footprint” in Afghanistan, the US and its allies teamed up with what Aikins describes as “anti-Taliban warlords.” Aikins reported: “Within six months of the US invasion, the warlords we backed were running the opium trade, and the spring of 2002 saw a bumper harvest of 3,400 tons.” The War in Afghanistan injected fresh life into the country’s practically dead opium industry. By 2014, Afghanistan was producing twice as much opium as it did in 2000. By 2015, Afghanistan was the source of 90 per cent of the world’s opium poppy.
According to the latest report released by United Nations Office on Drugs and Narcotics in November 2017, poppy and opium production in Afghanistan has increased by a record high 63% in 2017. The report finds political instability, lack of government control and security, as well as corruption as main drivers of illegal cultivation. In the last year of Taliban governance, the production was reduced to merely 221 tons which has now reached 9,000 tons in 2017; an increase of 87% from its 2016 Level (4,800 tons). The way U.S. scapegoats Pakistan for its failures in Afghanistan; it also alleges that the Taliban are sponsoring the poppy crop. It is the latest UN report that contradicts the accusation. As per the report, poppy cultivation has expanded in Northern Afghan areas of Balkh, Jowzjan, Baghlan, and Sari Pul provinces. These provinces were entirely free of poppy a few years ago and are known to be out of Taliban control.
It has been reported that CIA, RAW and NDS operating in Afghanistan support drug trafficking to finance their black and clandestine operations in the war-ravaged country.
While, poppy cultivation has risen to all time high, and Afghanistan has become one of the biggest contributors of drug proliferation in the region and beyond. And, Afghan government has failed in controlling corruption and implementing rule of law, while international community especially major donors are averse to such malpractices.
According to some sources, modern weapons of Indian, American and Israeli origin are available in the markets of Afghanistan. Smuggling of latest arms from west to Afghanistan is also being supported by the drug mafia of Afghanistan. In this connection, Afghan President Karzai’s real brother Ahmed Wali Karzai, and high officials have been found involved in drug smuggling for raising funds to support insurgency in Pakistan with the support of RAW.
It would not be out of context to mention here that primarily these are the Afghan drug Barons and Warlords like Hamid Karzai and his brother in whose interest it is to keep the region in state of war. It is also a known fact that Qasim Fahim, Vice President of Afghanistan was also a warlord and a drug baron. In the recent past, American troops destroyed poppy fields, but, they failed in stopping poppy cultivation, because India was involved in supporting Afghan warlords and drug mafia.
In this connection, on November 2, 2009 John Burns, the chief foreign correspondent for The New York Times, while answering questions about a New York Times article about Ahmed Wali Karzai, exposed his ties to the nation’s opium trade. And on October 27, 2009, the same newspaper pointed out, “The brother of the Afghan president and a suspected player in the country’s booming illegal opium trade…in a large area of southern Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgency is strongest, undermines the American push to develop an effective central government that can maintain law and order and eventually allow the United States to withdraw…on at least one occasion, the strike force has been accused of mounting an unauthorized operation against an official of the Afghan government.”
Quoting a senior American military officer in Kabul, The New York Times elaborated, “Hundreds of millions of dollars in drug money are flowing through the southern region, and nothing happens in Afghanistan without the regional leadership knowing about it.”
However, besides the involvement of other Afghan entities, Indian engagement in drugs in Afghanistan was proved in the news item of Dawn, which quoted world’s renowned news agency, Reuters as a source and also included AFP file. It is given below.
UN officials recorded a sharp spike this year in the amount of heroin being seized from passengers trying to fly from Afghanistan to India, a worrying trend since the Taliban insurgency lines its pockets on the illegal drug trade.
A lack of coordination is hampering efforts to clamp down on the route, officials said, with India blaming Afghanistan for poor cooperation in helping to track smugglers.
In January alone, officials intercepted 44 kilograms of heroin from Afghan airports in eight separate cases, compared to 50 kilograms of heroin and hashish seized during the whole of last year, according to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime data.
Most of the cases have involved passengers trying to board flights bound for the Indian capital New Delhi after swallowing as much 2 kg of the illegal opiate in capsules, like condoms.
The spike is an “alarming trend”, said Mark Colhoun, deputy representative to the UNODC in Afghanistan.
“These mule are small fry,” he said. “You need to track down the networks.” The UNODC started working with Afghan police and customs in 2013 at Kabul’s airport, and later expanded to airports in Kandahar, Herat, and Mazar-i-Sharif. It is unclear whether the rise in heroin being seized represents an increase in trafficking or better tracking of smugglers. But opium cultivation in Afghanistan, which produces some 90 per cent of the world’s illegal opiates, is on the rise.
Afghan smugglers often travel to India under the guise of seeking medical care, said a senior official in India’s Narcotics Control Bureau speaking on condition of anonymity.
Nevertheless, news of Dawn has verified Indian negative role of drug smuggling from Afghanistan. Therefore, it is the right hour that the US-led international community must take action against New Delhi, and by rolling back Indian network in Afghanistan, which includes smuggling of drugs, especially Heroin for the purpose of its secret strategic goals. While the western countries and Russia are worried about instability in Afghanistan, spilling over into the former Soviet Central Asia and about drug smuggling pushing up the numbers of heroin addicts.
Nonetheless, western donors’ aid to Kabul for bringing stability in that country will prove fruitless, if India continues drug smuggling in Afghanistan which has become one of the biggest contributors of drug proliferation in the world. Indian RAW and Afghanistan NDS in 2016 has orchestrated highly expensive and economically less feasible direct freight air link from Kabul to New Delhi. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj claimed it as air freight corridor for direct cargo flights from Kabul to New Delhi .Indian RAW and NDS are only promoting drug trade in the region by using so called air freight corridor as Drug Freight Corridor.
India is fuelling Afghan drug trade