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29 Oct, 2010 13:49

We must stop pointing fingers at each other - Afghanistan MP

Fighting Afghan drug trafficking requires international cooperation in many fields, according to Afghan Member of Parliament Daoud Sultanzoy.

"We must look at the problem as a global problem, not just an Afghan problem. I am not trying to dodge the blame from Afghanistan, but I am saying that we have to look at it as a bigger problem not just find an easy solution and blame one country for everything. That is not the solution," Sultanzoy told RT.

"I think the 90 per cent of opium that comes from Afghanistan finds its markets elsewhere, so there is a demand, that is why there is a supply. We are just cultivating poppies in this country, but heroin goes to America and Europe because there is demand."

He pointed out that many players are concerned by the Afghan drug issue, including banking systems, chemical producers, multinational companies, and all of them must cooperate in tackling the problem.

Sultanzoy considers Russia-US cooperation to be a very good sign. "I think it is very good news. It is not enough, but it is a good start. I think to fight the drug problem in Afghanistan we should not look at it as an Afghan problem, it is a global problem and requires a multi-track approach, including Russian, European and American cooperation not only in Afghanistan, but also outside Afghanistan – to interdict the trafficking, to dry up the chemical precursors that come from chemical companies in the world."

For more on Russia-US cooperation read "First Russia-US operation in Afghanistan hailed a success"

The Afghan MP pointed out that the trafficking is a more lucrative business than cultivation and for Afghanistan to be able to succeed in war against drug production alternative ways of income should be found for the Afghan people. "I think we have to find alternative crops for the farmers to cultivate. They have been cultivating poppies because of poverty, not because they are making a lot of money. The money is made elsewhere, in Europe and beyond."

Sultanzoy also said that Afghanistan has to play its role in combating the drug trade, including fighting corruption and poppy cultivation. However, he insisted that the country still needs help from the world community. "The world has to look at it as their problem. If you stop cultivation in a poor country like Afghanistan [it will not do any good]. We have to work on alternative crops, we have to produce some sort of results in terms of coming up with alternative livelihoods for the farmers and all those things. International cooperation has to expand in many other areas. It is not a fight that one country should fight."