It was last year that the eminent British think tank commonly known as Chatham House diagnosed Afghanistan's fatal affliction as the "nexus" of a corrupt government, a narco-economy and the Taliban insurgency which the Royal Institute described as being hand in glove.
Better late than never, The Globe & Mail reports that corrupt Afghan officials are facilitating the drug trade that then assists the Taliban. Quelle surprise!
In the shadow of the craggy mountains overlooking the road between Kabul and the eastern city of Jalalabad, a specially trained unit of police conducted a nearly perfect ambush of a drug dealer.
Officers surrounded Sayyed Jan's vehicle so quickly that his two bodyguards never had a chance to fire their weapons, and he was caught moving at least 183 kilograms of pure heroin.
But the Counternarcotics Police of Afghanistan realized they had a problem when they discovered that Mr. Jan's powerful friends included their own boss. The drug dealer was carrying a signed letter of protection from General Mohammed Daud Daud, the deputy minister of interior responsible for counternarcotics, widely considered Afghanistan's most powerful anti-drug czar.
That document, along with other papers and interviews with well-placed sources, show that Gen. Daud has safeguarded shipments of illegal opiates even as he commands thousands of officers sworn to fight the trade. Some accuse the deputy minister of taking a major cut of dealers' profits, ranking him among the biggest players in Afghanistan's $3-billion (U.S.) drug industry.
General Daud in cahoots with drug traffickers you say? General Daud, former commander of the Northern Alliance, hero of the Battle of Kunduz? General Daud, appointed by Hamid Karzai as the Deputy Ministry of Interior for Counternarcotics. He is also the head of the Counter Narcotics Police of Afghanistan (CNPA). That Daud?