Concerned with the rise in opium production and drug trafficking in Afghanistan, nations taking part in the Heart of Asia (HOA) summit on Sunday stressed the need to formulate a “comprehensive” approach to tackle the menace while vowing to increase dialogue between relevant agencies.
The Amritsar Declaration at the 6th Ministerial Conference of HOA noted the “acuteness and global scale” of the drug threat and said that further eradication efforts are needed as it poses a threat to the socio-economic development, security and stability of not only Afghanistan, but also in the surrounding region and the world.
“We are concerned about the increase in production and cultivation of opium in Afghanistan, the volume of drug trafficking and demand in the HoA Region and beyond.
“This requires further eradication efforts and poses a threat to the socio-economic development, security and stability not only in Afghanistan, but also in the surrounding region and the world as a whole,” the declaration said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi jointly inaugurated the annual Ministerial conference here along with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani which is being attended by Pakistan Prime Minister’s Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz along with representatives of around 30 countries.
The declaration also stressed on the urgent need to respond to the “serious” challenges posed by the nexus between revenue and its financial support for terrorist entities in Afghanistan, the HOA region as well as globally.
“We (nations) understand that acuteness and global scale of the drug threat requires appropriate international efforts aimed at intensifying measures to fight drugs production and trafficking in Afghanistan and the region of HoA.
“We also stress the urgent need to respond to the serious challenges posed by the nexus between revenue and its financial support for terrorist entities in Afghanistan, the Heart of Asia region and globally,” it said.
The conference was co-chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Salahuddin Rabbani who is the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan.
“To disrupt these links, the HoA countries intend to increase dialogue between their relevant ministries and agencies to tackle this menace.
“In this regard, we believe it is essential to integrate a comprehensive approach in addressing the drug problem of Afghanistan and the HoA region,” the declaration said.