Afghanistan: July 28, 2000



  The Taliban has announced that opium poppies could no longer be grown and current stocks must be destroyed. Afghanistan is the largest producer of opium, and the Taliban have taken a lot of heat for not banning the drug trade. It is uncertain how successful the Taliban will be in carrying out this decision. Opium production is an attractive business in poverty stricken Afghanistan. The Taliban are hoping to get foreign aid to replace the opium money, but there will be problems with that as well. The Taliban and aid organizations do not agree on the treatment of women and use of Sharia law. Meanwhile, 240 kilometers north of the capital, the Taliban launched an attack against Nahreen province, which contains  a key supply route from Tajikistan for the Northern Alliance. At least ten sorties by Taliban warplanes were reported in the fighting.