Afghanistan: President Karzai Pardons Convicted Drug Traffickers

Taken Question
Ian Kelly
Department Spokesman, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Spokesman
Washington, DC
July 15, 2009

Question: What is our reaction to the recent release of five drug lords in Afghanistan?


Answer: We note that the Government of Afghanistan has scored some notable successes in arresting, successfully prosecuting, and sentencing known narco-traffickers.


The U.S. has aided Afghanistan in these efforts. The Department of State, through the U.S. Department of Justice, has contributed approximately $6 million to the development of the Criminal Justice Task Force. Established in May 2005, this joint task force is responsible for investigating and bringing cases against mid- and high-level traffickers.


It is disappointing however, when successfully-prosecuted traffickers are later released, as has occurred recently. This undermines the work of the Afghan Ministries of the Interior and Counter Narcotics.


PRN: 2009/730