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India on US narcotics blacklist

India's inclusion in US' 'Majors List' is due to diversion of licit opium into the illicit market, Pranab Mukherjee says.

india Updated: Dec 13, 2006 16:03 IST

The United States has included India in the list of countries producing and smuggling narcotics, the Lok Sabha was informed on Wednesday.

While New Delhi has taken up the matter with Washington, the US government has indicated that India's inclusion in the 'Majors List' was primarily due to "large scale diversion of licit opium production into the illicit market", External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in a written reply.

"US has requested information over a period of time that diversion from licit production has been reduced to a modest problem", he said.

Mukherjee said that while India has been included in the 'Majors List', there was no year in which it was listed as a country that "failed demonstrably" to adhere to international counter-narcotics agreements or take counter-narcotic measures.

In reply to a question on Sri Lanka, he said New Delhi has emphasised the need to make all possible efforts to strengthen the ongoing ceasefire and review the political dialogue in order to move the peace process forward.

The government believed that the only solution to the ethnic problem there was a negotiated political settlement acceptable to all communities in Sri Lanka, he said.

Regarding the Indo-Bangla boundary dispute, Mukherjee said the government was keen on an early settlement of all boundary-related issues, including exchange of enclaves and "adverse possessions with Bangladesh in accordance with the 1974 Land Boundary Agreement".

First Published: Dec 13, 2006 15:52 IST