Grow vegetables not poppies, authorities urge locals after destroying opium crop

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Tribal authorities destroying the harmful part of the poppy crop, used for making opium, during the Mohmand Agency drive. (AN photos)
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Tribal authorities destroying the harmful part of the poppy crop, used for making opium, during the Mohmand Agency drive. (AN photos)
Updated 24 April 2018

Grow vegetables not poppies, authorities urge locals after destroying opium crop

  • Poppy crop expanding over 846 canals of land has been destroyed in the tribal region since the drive started on April 2.
  • Poppy ripens in this season which is why is why is was important to destroy it in these days, says political administration of tribal Mohmand Agency.

PESHAWAR: The authorities in Mohmand Agency have launched a campaign to encourage people to grow vegetables following the destruction of the harmful opium poppy crop in the region.
Speaking to Arab News, Assistant Police Agent Tauseef Khalid said that crops in more than 800 canals were destroyed in the campaign from April 2 to April 20. Poppies growing in another 46 canals have been destroyed in the last two days.
“We are now running post-campaign sensitization drive,” said Khalid. “We are holding meetings with the elders of the tribal region, including far-flung areas such as Prang Ghar and Yousaf Baba that are not accessible by road,” he added.
He said that they are trying to persuade the local population to grow vegetables and other crops on their land.
Khalid added: “When we destroy the poppy, we only destroy the harmful part used in making opium. We remove the seeds that are beneficial for health and used in medicines.”
Mohmand Agency’s Political Agent Wasif Saeed told Arab News that the campaign would continue until poppies have been eradicated from Mohmand Agency. He launched the drive after taking up his post on April 9.
“Poppy is a cash crop,” he added. “It fetches good money and has been grown traditionally for centuries. This is why it is not possible to end the practice easily.”


American singer/song writer John Legend speaks out against Palestinian suffering

John Legend has spoken out against the occupation of Palestine during a podcast. (AFP)
Updated 44 min 49 sec ago

American singer/song writer John Legend speaks out against Palestinian suffering

  • Legend spoke on Palestinian rights during a podcast with the online news platform The Intercept earlier this week

DUBAI: The American singer-song writer, John Legend, has spoken out against the occupation of Palestine during a podcast.

“That’s a baseline for human position,” Legend said on Palestinian rights during a podcast with the online news platform The Intercept earlier this week. 

The 41-year-old artist, according to the host Mehdi Hasan, is one of the few celebrities who has linked the fight for human rights, civil liberties, the fight against detention and mass incarceration in the US and in “the occupied Palestinian territories.” “How did you come to that position?” the host asked. 

“There should not be a whole group of people in a county, just because of their nationality or religion, being held in open-air prisons, denied freedom of movement and having their land annexed by settlers. That’s just a human position,” the “All of Me” singer replied. 

“I think, as someone who is observing what’s going on, and saying ‘This is right,’ or ‘This is wrong,’ clearly it’s wrong what is happening to the Palestinians, it’s so obvious,” he added. “Anybody who doesn’t believe that’s the case is being willfully blind, I believe.”

It is not the first time the award-winning star has spoken out in favor of Palestinian rights. 

Last year, Legend appeared on the political panel show “Real Time with Bill Maher,” in which he said: “As progressives, we should also speak up for human rights for Palestinians, and for too long, I think, it has been out of bounds for progressives to speak up for the rights of Palestinians.”