Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Monday, March 27, 2006

Disintegration of Government in Afghanistan - Senlis Council

PRESS RELEASE – FOR RELEASE 26 MARCH 2006

Insurgency Assessment Report Reveals Disintegration of Government Control in Pashto Belt of Southern Afghanistan

  • Anti -Government Elements including Taliban/Al Qaeda rapidly gaining control and becoming more aggressive
  • Report shows forced poppy eradication is responsible for the dramatic decrease in government control
  • Government vacuum in Pashto Belt leaves it vulnerable to takeover from increasingly powerful Pakistani Elements

KABUL – A ground breaking report released in Kabul today by The Senlis Council, an international security and development think tank, indicates that the forced eradication of farmers’ poppy crops in the Pashto belt of Afghanistan is leading to a rapid disintegration of government control and an increase in Taliban/Al-Qaeda power. The Report concludes that crop eradication and security objectives are dramatically at odds and that local confidence in government or foreign military presence has essentially disintegrated.

“This confidence will be very difficult to restore, and without it many of Afghanistan's provinces along the Pakistan border will be lost to insurgents and terrorist groups,” said Emmanuel Reinert, Executive Director of The Senlis Council.

The Council said that the British-led counter-narcotics interventions in Afghanistan since 2001 have been both ineffective and have contributed to the degeneration of relations with local communities rather than helping to “win the hearts and minds” of the very people who are needed to build the newly formed democracy.

Alternative Development responses wholly inadequate
The Council said that alternative development and alternative livelihood efforts to date and been severely mismanaged and ineffective.  The study revealed that throughout the provinces of Nanagahar, Kandahar and Helmand farmers reported wholly inadequate or completely absent Alternative development responses.

Pashto Belt Vulnerable to takeover from Pakistani Elements
The Report revealed that economic and social indicators show a dramatic increase in de facto Pakistani control in the Pashto Belt.

“Indicators point to a clear push from some elements in Pakistan into the Pashto Belt,” said Reinert. “Southern Afghanistan is extremely vulnerable to de facto Pakistani control. Only the presence of International forces is stopping this.”

The Council said that the vacuum created by the loss of confidence in the international community and control of the central government provides the opportunity for certain Pakistani elements to step in and gain control.

 The Report concludes that the international community and the Afghan Government must work urgently to regain the confidence of these rural communities if the control of these southern provinces is not to descend into the hands of insurgents and the Pakistani elements - a scenario which could ultimately lead to the country falling back into civil war.


Farmers sign declaration against poppy eradication in Nangahar Province

In a recent meeting in the Nangahar province, nearly 300 farmers signed a declaration calling on the government to stop all forced eradication immediately, stating that they desire peace, security and development in Afghanistan, that they would like to license opium for the production of medicines such as morphine and codeine during the next harvesting season and that growing opium for the production of these medicines would be Halal – or legal – under Islamic law.



Contacts:

Ms Jane Francis
+93 (0)75 200 1176 / +93 (0)799 843 671
  mailto:francis@senliscouncil.net

Mr Almas Bawar
+93 (0)75 200 1176 / +93 (0)799 491 738
mailto:bawar@senliscouncil.net


About the Senlis Council

The Senlis Council is an international security and development policy think tank, established by The Network of European Foundations. One of the key projects of the Council is the Drug Policy Advisory Forum - a programme dedicated to evaluating the effectiveness of the current global drug policy. By convening politicians, high profile academics, independent experts and Non-Governmental Organisations, The Senlis Council aims to work as the dialogue partner with senior policy-makers at the national and international levels in order to foster high-level exchanges and new ideas on bridging security and development.

For more information, visit   http://www.senliscouncil.net

--  Blair Anderson Techno Junk and Grey Matter  50 Wainoni Road.    Christchurch, New Zealand 8006  http://mildgreens.com http://mildgreens.blogspot.com/   ph (++643) 389 4065   cell/TXT 027 2657219   car-phone 025 2105080  Director, Educators For Sensible Drug Policy          http://www.efsdp.org 
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