Taliban militants have been using money collected as taxes from poppy growers to buy weapons and continue their fight against the Afghan government, the media reported on Monday.

Farmers in the northern restive province Saripul are controlled by the Taliban and encouraged to cultivate opium poppy, Xinhua news agency reported.

“Increase in poppy plantation means increase in Taliban revenues and supporting their financial resources to buy more weapons and further destabilise the province and the country at large,” a resident said.

Saripul Governor Zahir Wahdat said the militants have been encouraging farmers to cultivate poppy and that is why poppy fields are constantly increasing in areas controlled by the Taliban.

Militancy-battered Afghanistan produced 4,800 tonnes of opium poppy in 2016 against 3,300 tonnes in 2015, showed an Afghan Ministry for Counter-Narcotics and United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) survey.

Majority of the illegal crop was produced in the restive areas controlled by anti-government militants.

First Published | 22 May 2017 4:04 PM
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