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Narco-terrorism might become a global reality

2022 Jul 29, 8:09, Afghanistan
An Afghan man works on a poppy field in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan April 20, 2016. REUTERS/Parwiz TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - GF10000389086

Narcotics-terrorism might become a global reality as Afghanistan and Pakistan have become significant links in the global chain of narcotics production and several events including terrorism, extremism and radicalism have made matters worse.

Afghanistan along with border areas of Pakistan has been struggling with constant social and legal troubles due to narcotics trafficking and terrorism/extremism, the Jakarta Post reported.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021, however, the illicit opium trade was the main source of its revenue during their former rule in the country.

The country might witness a spike in the production of drugs and their illegal sale and purchase in the coming days as their economic assets remain frozen by the international community and the country is receiving little financial support.

More farmers might turn towards poppy cultivation to generate their income amid the absence of any significant international monetary support, the publication said.

In 2019, the revenue generated by the illicit opium economy was 7 to 11 per cent (USD 1.2 to 2.1 billion) of the Gross Domestic Product of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan's instability and schism can lead to an increase in the production and trade of drugs. The leaders might turn to poppy cultivation to finance their own coteries and agenda.

The Taliban might trade opium to support terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, and as a result, narco-terrorism might become a challenge for the world.

The article read that the drugs produced and refined in the global crescent are known to have supported extremist activities in countries outside South Asia.

Around 84 per cent of countries in the world are connected to the drug pipeline said to be originating in Afghanistan, as per a recent report by NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization).

"Narco-terrorism is both a cause and effect of political, social and economic insecurity, which creates a conducive environment for various non-state actors to use drug trafficking and extremism to attain their objectives," the article read.

Several financial technologies like blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies have provided drug trafficking organizations with ways to trade in narcotics while allowing them to prevent detection.

Drug trafficking organizations are not the only ones responsible for the perpetuation of narco-terrorism, in the larger schemes of affairs where political insecurity, economic instability and other geopolitical and domestic factors are linked together also promote narco-terrorism.

The global community would need to come up with newer and more effective monitoring and other techniques to counter narco-terrorism as there is a gap created by the lack of human intelligence in Afghanistan.


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