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'Kabul needs rapid economic development'

india Updated: Jun 29, 2006 18:13 IST
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Pledging to help rebuild the economy of Afghanistan, India has said rapid economic development could resolve the twin problems of narcotics and terrorism in the war-torn country.

"We believe that rapid economic development is the answer to the problems of not only narcotics but also terrorism," Minister of State of External Affairs E Ahamed said on Wednesday addressing an international conference on checking the inflow of drugs from Afghanistan.

Ahamed cautioned that the world once again faces the destructive nexus of narcotics cultivation and terrorism.

"The destructive nexus between narcotics cultivation and terrorism confronts the international community once again," he added.

"One of the most destructive legacies of war-lordism in Afghanistan was the spread of poppy cultivation. The deadly crop is available again to finance terrorism in Afghanistan with ominous consequences for the country and the whole world," he said.

Lauding steps taken by the Karzai government in Kabul to curb the menace, Karzai told reporters that in view of "magnitude and complexity" of the problem no country can fight it on its own.

India has pledged $650 million help for rebuilding Afghanistan and many projects in education, health, telecommunication, transport, civil aviation, agriculture and irrigation and capacity building in the country are progressing well, he said.

Ahamed underscored the need to curb "warlordism" and provide alternative livelihood to poppy growers in Afghanistan.

Noting that 4,100 metric tons of poppy was grown in Afghanistan in 2005, which is equal to 410 metric tons of heroine Ahamed said that the farmers should be given incentives to grow alternate cash crops like olives, dry fruits.

Ahamed was representing India at the three-day Conference on 'Drug Routes from Afghanistan' attended by 55 nations, including Afghanistan's immediate neighbours, Russia and US as well as the European Union and NATO.

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