Tel Aviv [Israel], July 1 (ANI): Pakistan and Syria both pose a serious risk to international security today and what originally began as a political venture has now given rise to two narco-states that work with terrorist and extremist groups to further their goals, reported The Times of Israel which said that the security of the Middle East, Asia, and Europe is currently under existentialist threat.
Iran and Saudi Arabia’s historic peace agreement with China had many causes and ramifications. One result was the reinstatement of Bashar al-Assad’s Syria into the Arab League following a 12-year suspension. This peace agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran may mark the end of Yemen and Syria, two significant wars that served as proxy conflicts between Saudi Arabia and Iran, according to Italian political advisor, author and geopolitical expert Sergio Restelli’s piece in The Times of Israel.
The Times of Israel is an Israeli multi-language online newspaper that was launched in 2012.
The Syrian civil war, which attempted to remove Assad, inadvertently served to strengthen him. As a pariah to the majority of the globe, Assad was no longer subject to the obligations and rights of sovereign states and was unable to sell oil to practically anyone anywhere. As a result, Syria is now the world’s top producer of Captagon, an amphetamine-like substance that generates three times as much cash for the Syrian government as all of the Mexican cartels put together, wrote Restelli while quoting Al-Jazeera.
Another narco state that has been boosted by the Taliban taking control of Kabul is Syria. Pakistan is the main transit nation for the opium-producing hotspots of Helmand and Kandahar in Afghanistan, with whom it shares the longest border. Drugs are transported from the Durand Line to ports and Pakistan’s other land and water borders through networks established in Pakistan, where they are then shipped to markets in Asia, the Persian Gulf, Africa, and eastern and western Europe, according to Restelli.
There is very little recent research on Pakistan’s proportionate position in the southern opium trade routes. There is little doubt that Pakistan is the main transit country for the flow of Afghan opiates along the “southern route” despite data estimates by UNODC suggesting that more than 45 per cent of illegal Afghanistan traffic passes through that country.
For the trafficking of opiates through Pakistan, the Gulf region serves as both a significant heroin market and a transhipment hub. The United Kingdom, Belgium, and the Netherlands are significant targets for trafficking via the southern route, which has been more prevalent in Europe in recent years. For instance, heroin trafficked from Pakistan accounts for 84 per cent of seizures of 10 kg or more at the borders of the United Kingdom. A number of countries that in the past were mainly served by the Balkan route, including Spain and Italy have recently noted Pakistan as a prominent source of opiates, in transit from Afghanistan, as per The Times of Israel.
According to the Italian National Anti-Drug Service DCSA, the “consolidation of the so-called African route” is where the increasing number of heroin seizures linked to Southern Europe are coming from: heroine leaves producing areas, mostly from airports and ports, especially the one in Karachi, Pakistan, and travels to Western markets via the eastern part of the African continent. East and Central European countries have reported seizures of southern-bound heroin traffic, with Slovenia and Ukraine demonstrating the need to constantly watch trends in this area. As the heroine leaves and transits through Pakistan, East Africa turns into a crucial intersection.
According to Afghan farmers, opium cultivation has increased since 2021, which will probably result in an increase in heroin trafficking in Pakistan. Despite the Taliban’s declaration that all drug manufacture and trafficking in Afghanistan would be prohibited, this story nevertheless surfaced. There was no decrease in heroin seizures in Pakistan and the surrounding area during the COVID-19 pandemic’s 2020 timeframe, indicating that heroin manufacturing and trafficking were not hampered by the outbreak. At the same time, although volumes were higher, fewer shipments were routed through Pakistan. Moreover, it is anticipated that similar quantities of chemicals will continue to be smuggled via the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. Additionally, there is proof that Pakistani state authorities colluded to knowingly permit this cross-border illicit activity.
Pakistan is also a source country for cannabis, and Pakistani cannabis appears to be mostly used to supply local markets in East Europe and the Middle East. Pakistan can also act as a transit country for Afghan cannabis headed towards Iran and further into the Middle East. The majority of cannabis smuggled out of Pakistan into Iran is transported via land routes (see heroin trafficking), but a significant number of cannabis seizures are also made along sea routes, reported The Times of Israel. (ANI)
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