Mul­ti­ple har­vests drive Afghan opium boom

Pakistan Observer - - FRONT PAGE -

LASHKAR GAH—With jin­gling poppy seeds hid­den in his pouch, Hel­mand farmer Ne­mat­ul­lah si­dled out of Tal­iban ter­ri­tory to ex­plain how he struck gold —- two ad­di­tional opium har­vests a year, which as ir­ri­ga­tion tech­niques im­prove and erad­i­ca­tion ef­forts col­lapse.

“We used to have one an­nual poppy har­vest —we now have three,” said Ne­mat­ul­lah, a young farmer from the in­sur­gen­cy­wracked Sun­day, amid a deep­en­ing political cri­sis.

The de­par­ture of the top pres­i­den­tial of­fi­cials comes as Park is grap­pling with a re­cent in­flu­ence-ped­dling scandal in­volv­ing an old friend, Choi Soon-sil. Choi re­turned to South Korea from Ger­many on Sun­day as the political cri­sis en­gulfed Park over al­le­ga­tions that she al­lowed Choi to use her friend­ship to ex­ert im­proper in­flu­ence and ben­e­fit per­son­ally. Jeong Yeonguk, a spokesman for the pres­i­den­tial of­fice, an­nounced on Sun­day that three long-time Park aides had also stepped down.—Reuters

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