Drug Control in Afghanistan: Culture, Politics, and Power during the 1958 Prohibition of Opium in Badakhshan

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Liberal Arts and Sciences


This article explores the process leading to the Afghan government's decision to implement a prohibition and eradication of opium in the northeastern province of Badakhshan. It explores why Daud chose Badakhshan, the impact of the opium ban on the people of Badakhshan and the future of opium production and trade, as well as the evolution of drug control in Afghanistan under the Musahiban dynasty. Ultimately, the ban was launched because it allowed Daud to garner international praise and financial support, while enforcing eradication in an area inhabited by ethnic minorities ensured that the Afghan government's coercive strategy would not generate resistance from rural Pashtun tribes historically opposed to these types of state intervention.