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'Balochistan madrassa students cultivate poppy in Afghanistan on holidays'

Kabul , Fri, 05 Aug 2011 ANI

Kabul, Aug 5 (ANI): Hundreds of madrassa students from Chaman and the adjoining tribal regions of Balochistan are reportedly being engaged by Afghan farmers for poppy cultivation in the two major heroin-producing provinces of Helmand and Kandahar for the past three months.


Local sources said these Pakistani madrassa students make a beeline for Taliban strongholds to make some money during their summer holidays, which start from the first week of June.


"It is a source of easy money for madrassa students," a local social worker of Ziarat who is well acquainted with many in the poppy harvesting workforce, said, adding: Each student makes around15 to 20 dollars a day. They are being paid in the local Afghani currency which has gained strength against the Pakistani rupee in recent months."


"Most students returned home with 1,500 to 2,000 dollars after the harvesting season last year," The Express Tribune quoted him, as saying.


Reports suggest that Afghanistan was the largest illicit opium producer of the world as of March 2010, ahead of Burma, and Pakistan has a clinical role to play in this statistic.


In 2007, Afghanistan produced an extraordinary 8,200 tonnes of opium (34 percent more than in 2006), becoming the exclusive supplier of the world's deadliest drug (93 percent of the global opiates market), United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) revealed in the 2007 Afghanistan Opium Survey. (ANI)


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