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TOLOnews.com By Ahmad Ramin 14 August 2013
Baz Mohammad Ahmadi, the Deputy Minister of Interior for Counternarcotics, announced the arrests of two of Afghanistan's most wanted opium smugglers marking a major victory in the government's war on the drug trade.

According to the information provided by the Ministry of Interior (MoI), the smugglers – Haji Lawang from Helmand and Haji Abdul Qayoum from Nangarhar – were running one of the largest drug rackets in Afghanistan.

"These two are regional and international smugglers," said Mr. Ahmadi.

Mr. Ahmadi urged the international community to take ramp-up their assistance to Afghanistan's efforts to combat the illegal drug industry – both in production and distribution – that has spread across the country.

"Undoubtedly, Counternarcotics police and Afghanistan's government fight seriously against this phenomenon, but they require more support from the international community," he explained.

Mr. Ahmadi stressed the need for deploying greater numbers of professionally trained police forces in communities across the country in order to address the issue. He also mentioned that the present policies dealing with the drug trade have failed to yield any real positive results. He insisted that the government should reform the policies and launch a crackdown.

However, Mr. Ahmadi assured that efforts are being made to improve the capacities of the police forces under the auspices of his Counternarcotics office at the MoI.

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