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'India, Pak, Afghan among major drug producing countries'

India, Pakistan and Afghanistan are among the list of 20 major drug producing and trafficking countries, the United States on Wednesday said.

world Updated: Sep 16, 2009 09:26 IST

India, Pakistan and Afghanistan are among the list of 20 major drug producing and trafficking countries, the United States on Wednesday said.

India along with Pakistan, Afghanistan and 17 others are major producing and trafficking countries, US state department spokesman Ian Kelly said.

Kellly, however, said that a country's presence on the list does not necessarily reflect its counternarcotics efforts nor does it reflect its cooperation with the US.

"The designation can reflect a combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to be produced and/or trafficked through a country despite its own best efforts," Kelly said in a statement.

Other countries identified as major drug-transit or drug-producing countries include Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Burma, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Venezuela.

The list prepared for the purposes of the Foreign Relations Authorisation Act has been notified to the Congress.

Of these, the US has found that Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela, have "failed demonstrably" during the last 12 months to adhere to international counternarcotics agreements and to take measures set forth in US law.

In the cases of Bolivia and Venezuela, Kelly said President Barack Obama has issued a national interest waiver so that the US may continue to support specific programs to benefit the people of these countries.

In Venezuela, funds will continue to support civil society programs and small community development programs. In Bolivia, the waiver will permit continued support for agricultural development, exchange programs, small enterprise development, and police training programs among others.

When a country does not live up to its obligations under international counternarcotics agreements and conventions, the President determines that the country has "failed demonstrably". Such a designation can lead to sanctions, Kelly said.

However, the President may also execute a waiver should he determine that continuing US assistance is in the national interest of the United States. Even without such a waiver, humanitarian assistance and counternarcotics assistance may continue, the statement said.