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India remains on White House 'major' list on drug trade

IANS  |  New York 

continues to remain on the list of countries that are "major" transit points for or of drugs.

The annual list was released on Tuesday as US prepared for a global campaign against drugs at the UN later in September.

The 21 countries on it include Pakistan, Afghanistan, and

has been on the list since 2004 when first issued it under a 2003 enacted by and continued to keep it there.

India's inclusion on the list has been a point of friction between and

A country's presence on the list "is not necessarily a reflection of its government's counter-narcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the US," Trump said in his memorandum.

"The reason countries are placed on the list is the combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors that allow drugs to transit or be produced, even if a has engaged in robust and diligent narcotics control measures," he clarified.

Significantly, the list has not included any Western countries even though they have figured transit points for drugs.

Nigeria, Brazil, and Thailand, which had figured on the original and some subsequent lists are no longer on it.

Trump is scheduled to preside over a high-level meeting of the on the drug menace on September 24 and issue a global call to action on the world drug problem, US Permanent announced last week.

Trump has made battling the crisis of opioid addiction that has gripped the US a priority and even suggested that the nation should consider death penalty for drug dealers.

According to the US more than 72,000 people died from drug overdose in 2017, nearly 50,000 of them from using opioids, including misuse of

Trump said in his memorandum, "My Administration is committed to addressing all factors fuelling this drug crisis, which is devastating communities across America, including steps to curb over-prescription, expand access to treatment and recovery programs, improve public education programs to prevent drug use before it begins, and to strengthening domestic drug enforcement at our borders and throughout our nation."

"Alongside these massive and historic US efforts, I expect the governments of countries where drugs originate and through which they transit to similarly strengthen their commitments to reduce dangerous drug production and trafficking," he added.

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, September 12 2018. 09:02 IST