India among top 20 drug hubs: US
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India among top 20 drug hubs: US

The report says that the listing is not necessarily an adverse reflection of Indian Govt's counter-narcotics efforts.

india Updated: Sep 19, 2006 12:10 IST

The United States has named four Asian nations - India, Pakistan Afghanistan and Myanmar - among the world's 20 major drug transit or major illicit drug producing countries.

These countries have "failed demonstrably" to make substantial efforts during the previous 12 months to adhere to international counter-narcotics agreements and to take measures specified in US law, President George W. Bush said in an annual report to the Congress.

Other 16 countries in the Presidential Determinations are: The Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, and Venezuela, said a statement by the White House press secretary Monday.

On Sep 15, Bush had authorised Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to transmit to the Congress the annual report on the Major Drug Transit or Major Illicit Drug Producing Countries for Fiscal Year 2007, it said.

The report does not detail why India or Pakistan have been placed on the list, but says a country's presence on the Majors List is not necessarily an adverse reflection of its government's counter-narcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States, the presidential report said.

One of the reasons that major drug transit or illicit drug producing countries are placed on the list is the combination of geographical, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to transit or be produced despite the concerned government's most assiduous enforcement measures, it said.

These Determinations required the president to consider each country's performance in areas such as reducing illicit cultivation, interdiction, law enforcement cooperation, extradition, and measures to prevent and punish public corruption that facilitates drug trafficking or impedes drug-related prosecutions.

The president also considered these countries' efforts to stop production and export of, and reduce the domestic demand for, illegal drugs.

On Afghanistan, the report said although President Hamid Karzai has strongly attacked narco-trafficking as the greatest threat to his country, one third of the Afghan economy remains opium-based, which contributes to widespread public corruption.

The government at all levels must be held accountable to deter and eradicate poppy cultivation; remove and prosecute corrupt officials, and investigate, prosecute, or extradite narco-traffickers and those financing their activities, it said.

The US is concerned that failure to act decisively now could undermine security, compromise democratic legitimacy, and imperil international support for vital assistance, the report said.

First Published: Sep 19, 2006 10:40 IST