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In Maimana, open sale of drugs sparks worries

In Maimana, open sale of drugs sparks worries

By
On
Jul 15, 2017 - 16:23

MAIMANA (Pajhwok): Drugs are being sold openly in northwestern Fayab province, with the authorities concerned failing to crack down on the illicit business, officials and residents claimed on Saturday.

Abdullah, a resident of Pashtunkot district, said he had slipped into drug addiction seven years ago. Now that he has squandered all his wealth on buying drugs, he has resorted to thefts and robberies.

He acknowledged contriving a variety of fishy ways to find money to purchase narcotics and keep the company of junkies -- something that has put his future at stake. Narcotics could be bought easily in every street, where certain individuals supplied drugs to addicts.

Khidar, hailing from Almar district, became drug-dependent 12 years ago in Iran before he returned home after leaving the work. His family wished him to return home with enough money to change their lives.

To their chagrin, they met a ruined man. “They conveniently eased me out of home. Now I collect cans of cold drinks and sell them. At times, I rob people to buy drugs, which are available in every part of Maimana,” he said.

Maulvi Gul Ahmad Lutfi, deputy director of religious affairs, told a gathering illicit substances were openly sold in every part of the city. Security officials were aware of the fact, he said.

Lutfi added people were running out of patience and the government should take steps against drug smuggling and sale in the city. The use of every kind of drug was prohibited, he continued.

Dr. Mohammad Naeem Musamam, public health director, put the population of drug addicts in Faryab at 20,000 to 30,000, including women and children.

He said two rehabilitation facilities, a 50-bed provincial hospital and the Sarapa Rehabilitation Centre operated in the province. Around 3,000 addicts, including 137 women, have been rehabilitated in the past nine years in Faryab.

 The director linked the problem to poverty, insecurity, easy access to drugs, migration and lack of awareness.

Nasir Ahmad Hakimi, a police officer, said the mobile stalls and shops selling drugs in the city could easily move from one place to another. He said court permission was needed to search shops.

Contrary to Hakimi’s remarks, this Pajhwok reporter saw one man delivering drugs to 53 people in 27 minutes under the famous bridge on Maimana River.

Hakimi said 45 drug smugglers and suppliers were arrested and 25 kilograms of hashish, two kilograms of heroin, 20 kilograms of opium, 700 kilograms sheshah and 160 bottles of alcoholic drinks were seized last year.

According to information from the counternarcotics ministry, more than 3.5 million Afghans are addicted to drugs -- a serious challenge for the government and society.

nh/mud

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