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VOICE OF AMERICA
SLUG: 2-324593 Pakistan / Afghan / Drugs (L)
DATE:
NOTE NUMBER:

DATE=5/12/05

TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT

TITLE=PAKISTAN /AFGHAN /DRUGS (L-O)

NUMBER=2-324593

BYLINE=AYAZ GUL

DATELINE=ISLAMABAD

HEADLINE: UN To Increase Anti-Drug Cooperation With Pakistan

INTRO: The United Nations says it will increase its cooperation with Pakistan to try to stem the flow of narcotics from neighboring Afghanistan, which produces up to 90-percent of the world's heroin. Ayaz Gul has this report from the VOA bureau in Islamabad.

TEXT: The chief of the U.N. anti-drug agency, Antonio Maria Costa, says that because of its long border with Afghanistan, Pakistan is exposed to narcotics being smuggled to European markets.

Speaking at a news conference after his discussions with Pakistani leaders, Mr. Costa promised more help for Pakistan to strengthen security at its ports and to catch drug smugglers coming across the porous 25-hundred-kilometer border with Afghanistan. But he would not say how much money would be earmarked for Pakistan to fight drug trafficking.

/// COSTA ACT ///

"We are familiar with the very tragic situation in Afghanistan and the significant increase in the past few years of opium cultivation in Afghanistan and the threat opium poses to Pakistan."

/// END ACT ///

The United Nations anti-drug chief praised the Afghan government for stepped-up anti-narcotics efforts but said the international community also needs to make extra efforts to control demand.

/// COSTA ACT ///

"Any effort to control supply would be nullified if we do not in parallel in Pakistan, and elsewhere in the world, engage in a more significant effort to control demand."

/// END ACT ///

Afghanistan last year produced about 42-hundred-tons or up to 90-percent of the world's illicit opium, fueling international fears that the country is turning into a narco-mafia state, three years after the U.S led military coalition ousted the Taleban.

Mr. Costa says Afghan authorities have taken step to reduce poppy cultivation, but more efforts are still needed.

/// COSTA ACT ///

"The situation is an inevitable consequence of the still inadequate degree of control of the territory, which the national government in Afghanistan has. It is also of course the results of corruption. It is the results of the strong role, which strong military leaders, the so-called warlords, have played until now."

/// END ACT ///

Afghan President Hamid Karazi says that there has been a 30-percent decline in poppy cultivation this year mainly because of his

anti-drugs polices. (SIGNED)

NEB/AG/KBK/RAE



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