According to David R Winston, a strong network is developing as more and more radical, terrorist, and extremist outfits are being funded by drug trade

According to experts, Afghanistan and Pakistan, which are breeding grounds for terrorists, have emerged as unsavoury joint ventures constituting several arms and narcotics traffickers, insurgent outfits and organised crime syndicates.

The Haqqani network was discussed in the Asialyst piece along with how close it is to the Pakistani intelligence agencies and how it materialises the connection between the criminal underworld and the nebula of radical terrorism.

‘The Convergence of the Narcotics Underworld and Extremists in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Its Global Proliferation’ by David R Winston highlights a number of issues, including the Pakistan-Afghanistan Drug Trade in Historical Perspective.

The Narco-Insecurity, Inc. report claims that this was made possible with the aid of Pakistan’s ISI, which carried out a number of covert operations with sympathetic jihadist groups and launched the Balkan, northern, and southern routes of the global narcotics trafficking pipeline. These groups all heavily relied on drug trafficking to fund their operations.

‘ISI Sees Haqqani Network As Key Ally’

The largest of these was the Haqqani network, a criminal organisation based on smuggling, that was located along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. Given its position and connections to several jihadist organisations, the Haqqani network was seen by the ISI as a crucial ally. As a result, the ISI allegedly started funding its facilities and utilising it as a front for dealing with other non-state actors.

The report also articulates about the criminal world and narcotic traffickers that depend on state business or secret services and concentrate on the collusion of interests, along with the association of Afghan and Pakistani actors.

Since Afghanistan’s takeover by the Taliban in August last year, the Afghan drug industry is blossoming and now the close relations with Pakistan unite drug trafficking actors and those involved in radical violence and terrorism, particularly in Pakistan, the article reported citing the publication.

According to the publication, a strong network is developing as more and more radical, terrorist, and extremist organisations are being funded by today’s drug trade for their nefarious goals, such as attacks or assassinations. It jumbles up everyone’s duties and permits the funding of terrorist activities.

It also sheds light on the functioning of Afghan and Pakistan societies, along with the radical deviations, and double-dealing of the officials, adding that after the Taliban came to power in 1996, there was the expansion of poppy opium production and drug trafficking which was obligated to Pakistan and in particular, its intelligence services.

Terrorist and rug kingpin Dawood Ibrahim, who was involved in the 1993 Mumbai bomb blasts, is said to be residing in a Pakistani territory despite their denial, the article read.

The publication cited the innovations that terrorist outfits use to launder their illegal income. They invest in genuine firms operating in real estate, construction or maritime transport to “protect” their assets as “good” asset managers along with the stock market, in particular in the financial centre of Karachi.

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