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Wolesi Jirga quiz minister over liquor import

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Cannot prevent alcoholic beverages’ imports at Karzai airport, says the deputy counter narcotics minister

Abdul Zuhoor Qayomi-KABUL: The deputy minister of counter narcotics at the Ministry of Interior told Wolesi Jirga on Monday that the ministry could not stop importation of the alcoholic beverages at the Hamid Karzai International Airport as the airport is under control of the Global, a private security firm.

He said the coalition forces had handed over the overall security of the airport to the Global instead of Afghan security forces; therefore, could not control import of liquor at the airport.

“However, the police had seized more than eight tons of alcoholic beverages across the country as alcohol is illegal beside other narcotics and drugs. Arrest of the international narcotics smugglers is difficult for the government due to lack of access. Most of the big smugglers are living in other countries and in areas controlled by the Taliban,” he explained.

He further said that police has detained 1,600 drug smugglers and destroyed 12 laboratories producing illicit drugs.

Rehabilitation of the addicts in the capital was one of the major concerns of the lawmakers. Ahmadi said that rehabilitation of the drug addicts was impossible until there was cooperation between the concerned organizations.

Regarding rehabilitation of the addicts, Minister of Public Health Ferozuddin Feroz said that more than 60 percent of rehabilitated drug users returned back to addiction because there was no cooperation between the relevant organizations.

While not giving any name, Feroz said that some officials were providing drugs to the addicts. Loopholes in the justice system, joblessness, easy access to drugs, lack of awareness campaigns and regional cooperation were the major factors behind drugs addiction that were pointed out by the health minister.

Annually 45,000 addicts are treated, but more than 60 percent return back to addiction. The addicts are treated in a 45-day rehabilitation program in 115 centers across the country, the minister said.

Abdul Satar Khawasi, an MP from Parwan, said that the MoI is responsible for failure to stop import of alcoholic beverages not the security company because it is police who release the smugglers.

He said the airport belongs to the Afghan government not to the private security firm. He asked the deputy minister of counternarcotic to control import of alcohol.