Statement of President Hamid Karzai on the Prohibition of Poppy Cultivation

In the Name of God the Beneficent and the Merciful

Dear fellow compatriots and dear Afghan farmers,

The autumn planting season is near. Dreadfully once again as in the previous years self-interested domestic and international drug traffickers are attempting to persuade honest and devout farmers and landowners to cultivate poppy instead of wheat, barley, and other useful and prosperous vegetables and grains. Thus, poppy may be planted in some agricultural areas of our country.

Devout and sincere landowners and farmers must recognize that this poisonous product derived from poppy can lead tithe destruction of human beings. Individuals addicted to this poisonous product can threaten the well-being and lives of thousands of families all over the world.

Dear farmers, the cultivation of poppy and the production of opium, which drug trafficker’s transport all over the world is contrary to the Islamic principles and values, and human rights standards. Our landowners and farmers must understand that the payment given totem by the drug traffickers and brokers is meager and drug traffickers, brokers and drug laboratory owners gain significant profits. Therefore, devout farmers in exchange for meager payments become accomplices to crime, and commit a sin which has a harmful consequences in this world and hereinafter.

Dear compatriots,

We all know that 23 years of conflicts and crises has brought many misfortunes on our people and country. In this episode the cultivation of this harmful plant increased significantly. Those farmers and landowners that had not previously engaged in the cultivation of poppy recently started to do so. International and domestic drug traffickers established laboratories in various parts of the country and smuggled their products all over the world. As a result, our country became one of the major centers for the production and trafficking of illegal narcotics.
These activities diminished the dignity of our country and people in the eyes of the world. The international community views us as a country, which exports death and destruction of humanity.

Fortunately the Government of Afghanistan with the cooperation of our devout farmers and with the financial support of the United Nations and friendly countries issued a decree at the beginning of this year and destroyed poppy fields all over Afghanistan. Moreover, it provided compensation to land owners and farmers.

By undertaking these measures the Afghan Government initiated a firm struggle against the cultivation, production and trafficking of narcotics. The decision of the Afghan Government to prevent poppy cultivation its production and trafficking is decisive and irrevocable. We will continue our efforts in this area with all means in our disposal.

Afghanistan is a party to all the treaties, declarations and international conventions in regards to drug abuse and prohibition of narcotics. Afghanistan is and will remain firmly committed to these obligations. In order to prevent the cultivation of poppy, its production and trafficking, Afghanistan had laws and regulations; we seek to modify these regulations in according to present day needs.

Dear farmers and landowners,

I urge you to abandon the cultivation of poppy, which is harmful in this world, and hereinafter, instead cultivate plants which are not harmful. The Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan is working to improve the livelihood of farmers. The ministry of agriculture with the cooperation of the experts is working on crop substitution issues, which will help farmers and land owners. However we will not permit the cultivation of poppy under any circumstances. Those who attempt to cultivate poppy subsequent to these declaration speeches and decrees will be subject to prosecution and investigation by law enforcement agencies. Their poppy fields will be completely destroyed and they will not be reimbursed. Those farmers, who have received money in advance of the next planting season from the brokers and drug traffickers, are not bound to repay their debts in terms of opium or cash. In conclusion once again I reiterate that our position against the cultivation of poppy, its production and trafficking is decisive and will remain consistent.

Hamid Karzai,
President Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan