Amid reports of cancerous corruptionand failed administration in war-torn Afghanistan, The New York Timesrevealed Saturday, March 10, that the head of the country's anti-corruptiondepartment is a former drug dealer.
Izzatullah Wasifi served nearly fouryears in a
He was arrested at Caesars PalaceHotel on July 15, 1987, for selling the heroin bag for an undercover agent.
Wasifi served three years and eightmonths in prison before being released on parole.
Now 20 years later, Wasifi wasappointed as
He is leading a 84-strong staffcharged with rooting
A new report by the UN Office onDrugs and Crimes (UNODC) warned on Monday, March 5, that the crop of opiumpoppy is set to hit new records in 2007 as US and British efforts have failedagain to eradicate the mushrooming poppy cultivation in
It said that the poppy cultivationwould likely increase in 15 provinces and decrease in seven, according to thereport based on surveys in 508 villages in December 2006 and January 2007.
The report also said that thechaos-mired country has become a fertile ground to another drug: cannabis.
Wasifi confirmed that he had beenimprisoned in
But he argued that he was arrestedafter his then-wife bought cocaine for her own use and brought it to their
"My wife made an error,"Wasifi told the Associated Press Saturday.
"A lot of people go to
"This thing happened."
Wasifi's ex-wife, Behbahani who wassentenced to three years' probation for conspiring to traffic drugs with Wasifiand who is now living in
Wasifi is a childhood friend of theAfghan President Hamid Karzai.
Karzai's office refused to saywhether it knew about the drug conviction of the new anti-corruption chief.
The Human Rights Watch (HRW) hasrecently warned that US-led troops and the West-backed government of Karzaihave been collaborating with blood-stained hands, appointing war criminals andhuman rights abusers to achieve their un-winnable mission.
More than five years after theUS-led overthrow of Taliban and the advent of a US-backed government,
In the capital
British officials had told TheSunday Telegraph that up to half of all foreign aid allocated to helpimprove deplorable living standards of ordinary people in war-torn