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Afghan drug ban may be close to unravelling

Wednesday, May 15, 2024


Local villagers were ignoring the ban on the production, use and trafficking of drugs, announced by Taliban supreme leader Haibatullah Akhundzada in April 2022. The Taliban increasingly appear divided over whether to uphold the ban.


  • If the ban collapses, China and other states engaging significantly with the emirate could lose faith in the Taliban’s governing capacity.
  • Western countries with sizeable numbers of heroin addicts would be especially dismayed to see the ban end.
  • A lifting of the ban would make it easier for armed opposition groups to raise funds for their activities.

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