The corresponding order was issued by the supreme leader of the Taliban movement Haibatullah Akhundzada. The order was released at a press conference in Kabul and circulated by local and international media.
It is noted that all Afghans are now informed of the strictest ban on poppy cultivation throughout the country.
Akhundzada stressed that those who violate the decree will be judged according to Sharia law, and the entire harvest will be immediately destroyed.
Also “transportation, purchase, sale, exchange, export, import and production of other types of drugs, such as alcohol, heroin, crystal methamphetamine, psychoactive pills, marijuana are prohibited. The execution of this decree is obligatory.”
Akhundzada's statement was preceded by a two-day meeting of foreign ministers of Afghanistan's neighboring states (China, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan).
Drug control is among the main demands of the international community for the Taliban, who are seeking official international recognition and the lifting of sanctions that seriously impede business and development.
Following the decree, Afghan Acting Vice Prime Minister Abdul Salam Hanafi called on the international community to work with the country to treat drug addicts and help farmers diversify their businesses, local news agency TOLOnews reported.
According to a report released by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime in 2021, the opium crop in Afghanistan was 6,800 tons. UNODC estimated in its report that Afghan opiate revenues amounted to between $1.8 billion and $2.7 billion in 2021 inside Afghanistan, but much larger profits are made from illicit drug supply chains outside the country. The Taliban banned poppy cultivation when they previously controlled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, a move that significantly reduced the crop, according to UNODC estimates at the time.