£100m drive to eradicate Afghanistan drugs trade

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The Independent Online

Britain is funding a £100m campaign to combat the explosion in the drugs trade in Afghanistan, which is fuelling violence and anarchy.

Britain is funding a £100m campaign to combat the explosion in the drugs trade in Afghanistan, which is fuelling violence and anarchy.

Pressure from the British Government has also led to changes in the rules of engagement for international peacekeeping forces, allowing them greater scope to seize heroin consignments and destroy poppy fields. The Government is also demanding "high-profile" arrests of warlords and members of the administration of President Hamid Karzai who are involved in the trade.

Tony Blair, stung by accusations of reneging on his promise to stand by the Afghan people after the fall of the Taliban, has demanded action to prevent further unravelling of the situation, ministers told The Independent.

Britain has increased its aid to Afghanistan from £200m to £500m over five years. And, it is believed, British troops earmarked for Iraq will be deployed there for elections scheduled for September. Nato allies are also being pressed to send additional troops.

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