Afghanistan’s minister of internal affairs: government must be purged of drug traffickers

Afghanistan's government must be purged of officials involved in drug trafficking, which accounts for a huge chunk of the war-shattered nation's economy, the outgoing interior minister said Wednesday.

A day after announcing his resignation, Interior Minister Ali Ahmad Jalali expressed frustration with efforts to stem the illegal opium and heroin trade, and to bring to justice provincial and central government officials suspected of involvement.

He said authorities had arrested two police officers in the past two weeks on suspicion of drug trafficking, and had arrested some government officials on corruption charges in recent months.

But he suggested little headway had been made, saying the government has a list of officials suspected of involvement in drug trafficking but lacks sufficient evidence against them.

He said Jalali had Karzai's complete support, and that any officials found to be involved in drug trafficking would be arrested, the AP reports.

Critics say Karzai's commitment to fighting drug trafficking is limited by a lack of desire to challenge warlords and other influential figures. AM

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