Washington, D.C., United States (AHN) - President Barack Obama on Thursday issued a presidential determination naming 20 nations as major drug transit or drug-producing countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan and India as well.
Obama in the statement noted, “I hereby identify the following countries as major drug transit or major illicit drug-producing countries: Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Burma, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.”
Obama called Pakistan, “a major transit country for opiates and hashish for markets around the world, especially for narcotics originating in Afghanistan,” adding, “Pakistan also is a major transit country for precursor chemicals illegally smuggled to Afghanistan where they are used to process heroin.”
On the role played by terror-linked groups, Obama said, “Pakistan is still challenged by extremist groups who have power over parts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, particularly where most of Pakistan's poppy is grown. These extremist groups are also found in settled areas of the Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa Province such as its capital, Peshawar, and the Swat Valley.”
Obama gave a clean chit to the Government of Pakistan saying, Islamabad, “is forced to divert law enforcement resources and equipment from poppy eradication efforts to address these incursions.”
“The Government of Pakistan remains concerned about opium poppy cultivation in Pakistan and is working to return to opium poppy-free status soon,” the president said.
“A joint U.S.-Pakistan survey in 2009 estimated that 1,779 hectares of opium poppies were under cultivation in Pakistan, approximately 130 hectares less than was under cultivation in the country during the previous year,” noted Obama.
Obama labelled the neighboring Afghanistan as continuing “to be the world's largest producer of opium poppies and a major source of heroin.”
Obama credited the government of President Hamid Karzai with, “the reduction of opium poppy cultivation from 157,000 hectares in 2008, to 131,000 hectares in 2009, a 17% decline.”
Obama accepted that, “Poppy cultivation remains largely confined to provinces in the south and west where security problems greatly impede counternarcotics efforts. Nearly all significant poppy cultivation occurs in insecure areas with active insurgent elements.”
Obama recognized the rising regional power of Brazil but still kept it on the list, saying, "Although Brazil no longer qualifies as a major drug transit country to the United States ... Dynamic drug trafficking trends from Brazil are directed primarily at other countries, especially to and through Africa, and onward to Europe."
Obama did not mention the reasons for keeping India on the list but Canada was conspicuous by its absence from the list after the American president said about the neighboring country, “The stealth with which both natural and synthetic drugs including marijuana, MDMA, and methamphetamine are produced in Canada and trafficked to the United States, makes it extremely difficult to measure the overall impact of such transshipments from this shared border country, although U.S. law enforcement agencies record considerable seizures of these substances from Canada.”
“At the same time, the Drug Enforcement Administration reports that of the amount of MDMA seized in the United States, about half was traced to Canada as its country of origin in 2009,” Obama added.
September 16, 2010
Tejinder Singh - AHN News Correspondent
http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7019927347?U.S. Lists 20 Countries Involved In Drug Production, Transit