The Associated Press reports that Afghanistan’s counternarcotics minister Habibullah Qaderi has tendered his resignation amid signs that this year’s Afghan opium harvest could be even bigger than the 2006 crop that supplied an estimated 90 percent of the world’s heroin. The resignation, which reportedly is related to Qaderi’s health, was tendered last week but announced only Sunday. Afghan President Hamid Karzai has not named a replacement, the AP said.
Qaderi has headed the ministry since December 2004 but Afghanistan’s opium production has soared during his tenure. Much of the profit from the country’s $3.1 billion drug trade is believed to fund Taliban fighters waging a violent campaign against the government.