The US gives Pakistans Anti-Narcotics Force funds, coupled with diplomatic pressures, to stop drug trafficking in the country, but when it comes to ISAF and the Karzai government, criminal negligence is observed on their part. Poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has increased and its income is being utilized by terrorists to buy weapons. Poppy cultivation is increasing in 28 of the countrys 32 provinces. Today, between 90 and 95 per cent of the worlds supply of opium comes from Afghanistan. President Karzai laid out a National Drug Control Strategy for Afghanistan in 2005, based on four key priorities: (a) disrupting the drug trade by targeting traffickers and their backers; (b) strengthening and diversifying legal rural livelihood; (c) reducing the demand for illicit drugs and treatment of problems of drug users; (d) developing state institutions at the central and provincial levels. But these efforts failed to control poppy cultivation. Recent survey conducted jointly by the Afghan Ministry of Counter-Narcotics and the UN Office on Drugs and Crimes in January, predicted an upsurge in the poppy cultivation area. The survey shows an increasing trend in the poppy cultivation in 13 provinces, especially Helmand, Ghor, Uruzgan, Zabul, Nangarhar, Leghman and Badakshan. Thus opium serves as the main engine of economic growth in Afghanistan. While it has declared war against poppy cultivation and drug trafficking, there is little on the ground to suggest that practical steps have been taken to set off this menace. Ironically, both NATO and EU officials recently refused to lead a hand on role in fighting the narco problem. One reality is that ISAF has only some 52,000 troops on the ground: the Helmand province is home to a significant proportion of ISAF troops and yet still cultivates some 50 percent of the opium produced in Afghanistan. The provinces 'controlled by ISAF, and the nexus between the drug mafia and the Taliban-al-Qaeda is evidenced by the amount of money which the Taliban are paying to defectors from the Afghan security forces and other officials, as well as in the purchase of weapons for their own use. Indeed, the Taliban-al-Qaeda ability to generate income and control derives not just from trafficking in narcotics on their own account, but also on their ability to charge 'transit fees and to demand payments for protection. The whole process of poppy cultivation, transportation, processing, and the like is more than merely a Taliban-al-Qaeda event; it is pervasive through much of Afghan society, and divides the population from both Isaf and national governance. It is not surprising, therefore, that some 60 to 70 percent of the Afghan parliament is occupied by former Mujahideen, former Communists, drug barons, and warlords, who not only control both houses of parliament but, as a result, prevent the establishment of the central governments writ across the country. It is clearly not in the interests of most of the lawmakers that the national government should exercise law and order across the land, and, meanwhile, President Karzai is hardly in a position to marginalize these lawmakers. Undoubtedly, the drug menace of Afghanistan got massive encouragement from the Americans themselves. After the overthrow of the Taliban regime the Americans allowed the warlords to re-establish their hold in many parts of Afghanistan. Soon these warlords began to cultivate opium as it fetched a lot of money. It remains to be seen how the US will control this menace. ESCHMALL SARDAR, April 22.