India, Pak are top drug trafficking nations: US

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Washington, Sep18: India and Pakistan figure among the 20 countries listed in an annual US report as major drug-producing or narcotics-transiting nations.

The report, compiled by the State Department and released by the White House, yesterday, however, made it clear that the list of major drug-producing or transit countries did not necessarily mean that its government were not trying to deal with the problem.

The name of 20 countries, appearing on the so-called majors list, are the same that appeared in the previous two years' list.The report includes Afghanistan and Colombia respectively as the largest producers of illicit opium and cocaine.

The report, however, makes it a point to note India has an "exemplary record" of controlling legal opium production, with licensed farmers now being issued with "smart cards" to enable the government to keep a better track of cultivation.

Pointing out the reason of India'a inclusion to the list, Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Narcotics, Christy McCampbell, who briefed newsmen on the report, said India did have a problem of diversion of chemicals and opium production which paved the way of licit opium to the illicit market and as much as 30 per cent of India's opium was diverted.

The report says only Burma and Venezuela have failed demonstrably to make substantial efforts to adhere to international counter-narcotics agreements or to cooperate with Washington in accordance with various US anti-drug laws.

Deputy Assistant Secretary McCampbell commended both the Afghan and Colombian governments for their anti-drug efforts.The report said Burma was the largest source of methamphetamine pills in Asia and its efforts against traffickers in that synthetic drug had been inconsistent.


UNI

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