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Narcotics and terrorism
Twenty five per cent of terrorism in India is being funded by the money generated by trafficking of narcotic drugs. Narcotics money, in fact, is the main source for Pakistan in funding terrorists. ‘Total illicit drug trade worldwide is worth 800 b
WHILE TERRORISM is posing a serious threat to global security, narco-terrorism has emerged as another potent weapon in the propaganda war waged by governments against terrorists, insurgents, organised crime, drug traffickers even in other sovereign states. In a country like India faced with terrorism for the past so many years, 25 per cent of terrorism is being funded by the money generated by trafficking of narcotic drugs. Narcotics money, in fact, is the main source for Pakistan in funding terrorists.

 

Talking about this at an extension lecture "Narco-terrorism: Concerns and challenges in Jammu and Kashmir" organised by the Centre for Adult, Continuing Education & Extension (CACE&E), University of Jammu, here today, MK Sharma, zonal director, Narcotics Control Bureau, Jammu and Kashmir said that drug proceeds are laundered through numerous legal and illegal financial institutions and petty business enterprises.

Saying that Pakistan has been trying hard to pump in drugs, fake currency and arms and ammunition into J&K for the past so many years, he added that besides logistics and weapons, Pakistan spends Rs 20 to 30 crores per month on payment to militants. In fact, right from 1947 to 2003, the Inter Services Intelligence, army and the Pakistan government are together in "Operation Terrorism" be it in J&K, Punjab or in Assam.

Quoting some examples of narco-terrorism through his powerful power point presentation, the Narcotics Control Bureau zonal director said that in January 2002, Phagwara police arrested five persons including two surrendered militants of Hizbul Mujahideen with 20 kgs of charas. In May 2003, the Narcotics Control Bureau, Delhi arrested Mohammed Amin Jaffer of Bijbehara, Ananatnag who is an active member of Al Jehad outfit with 25 kgs of charas. He said there is a strong nexus between terrorists and narcotics in J&K.

Referring to the cultivation of poppy and cannabis in Jammu and Kashmir, especially in South Kashmir districts of Pulwama and Anatnag, Sharma said that though licences have been issued to cultivators in South Kashmir, these licences are being abused by the growers. The topography of the region gives it ample scope to have a good crop of cannabis grown in abundance in Jammu and Kashmir.

Sharma also said that there are about 400 million drug abusers worldwide and the total illicit drug trade worldwide is worth 800 billion US dollars. The cost of one kg of heroin in neighbouring countries is about $ 2870 (approximately Rs 1.35 lakh) and in the USA $ 290,000 (approximately Rs 1.36 crore).

"India which is situated between South-East Asia (the Golden Triangle) and South-West Asia (the Golden Crescent), is the largest global producer of illicit of poppy and the producer of Opium gum in the world. This is besides, the Golden Triangle (Laos, Burma, Thailand), and the Golden Crescent (Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran) which is notorious for drug trafficking, which produces an estimated 90 per cent of the world’s illicit opium," the NCB zonal director said adding as India shares a 2747-kms border with Pakistan, 1634-kms with Myanmar, 4127 kms with Bangladesh and 1751 kms with Nepal, it is a suitable corridor for narcotics trade and narcotics sale and marketing as well. A total of 1652 metric tonnes of opium was produced in 2006-2007.

He said Heroin, cocaine and marijuana are uncomplicated drugs and cheap to produce but because they are illegal and therefore risky to supply, they can earn more than their weight in gold on the vast international black market. He also added that world’s most sought after terrorist Osama bin Laden has reportedly advocated using narcotics trafficking to weaken societies with addictive drugs.

Earlier, Professor Poonam Dhawan, director, Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, University of Jammu, in her welcome addressed, said that drug abuse has been a major theme area of CACE&E on which they have been working in entire Jammu province for the past so many years. She said drug abuse is a major problem among youth of the country and the society has a greater responsibility in checking this growing menace. She also sought the cooperation of civil society in checking this in the entire province.

Dr Kavita Suri, assistant director, Centre for Adult, Continuing Education and Extension, University of Jammu, who coordinated the extension lecture, said that over forty lakh people in India are drug addicts and it should be a major cause of concern to us. She also added that the narcotics scenario in the Golden Crescent and direct involvement of Pakistani law enforcement agencies therein has brought about an insecure Indian subcontinent.

Sandeep Singh Sandy, project officer, CACE&E presented a formal vote of thanks.

The programme was widely attended by students, lecturers, professors and officers of University of Jammu besides a number of media persons including Chandel, NCB, J&K, Professor Posh Charak, Dr Manju Gupta, Dr Arti Bakshi, Dr Priyanka Katoch, Vibuti Ubbot and Shweta Sharma from the Centre for Women Studies, Priyanka Sharma, Dr Bharti Prabhakar, Pallavi Sachdeva, all project officers of CACE, Vivek Sharma, coordinator, CACE&E, Aparna Tandon, ICCROM, Italy, Dr Seema Bhasin from Department of Distance Education, Jammu University, Taranumm Khan, deputy registrar.

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