London: British taxpayers’ money meant for destroying Afghanistan’s poppy crop was instead used to fund al Qaeda.
The Daily Mail quoted documents leaks by WikiLeaksas saying that over 300,000 pounds of British aid budget was paid to Afghan politician, Mullan Haji Rohullah, but he used it to support Al Qaeda while continuing to traffic in drugs himself.
Poppies, which is farmed for opium and used for manufacturing heroin, has been a major source of income for the Taliban.
Rohullah, who was based in Konar province, reportedly met the British ambassador toAfghanistan to discuss the eradication scheme and agreed that farmers in the area would receive 250 dollars an acre to stop growing poppies.
The leaked documents, however, revealed that Rohullah, who was later detained at Guantanamo Bay, benefited from the trafficking.
The British Government had handed over 3.6 million pounds to a close associate of Rohullah, of which only 2.1million pounds was passed on to tribal leaders.
“It appears detainee [Rohullah] was not only receiving money from selling poppies when he claimed he was prohibiting them from being grown in Konar province, but he was also receiving financial aid from the British,” the Guantanamo documents said.
Rohullah, who was arrested in 2002 but released later, was also allegedly ‘linked to plots to kill leaders within the interim Afghanistan government’.