The Taliban have banned the cultivation of opium poppies in Afghanistan, according to a Sunday decree from the group’s top commander.
The decree was issued by the Islamic organization’s supreme leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, who also banned other substances.
The order also prohibits the “use, transport, trade, export and import of all types of narcotics,” including alcohol, hashish, and heroin.
“If anyone violates the decree” against poppy cultivation, “the crop will be destroyed immediately and the violator will be treated according to the Sharia law,” according to a statement by the Taliban Interior Ministry at an April 3 news conference in Kabul.
Afghanistan is the world’s leading producer of opium poppies and opium.
The hardline Taliban came to power last summer, shortly before the United States and NATO fully withdrew their forces from Afghanistan.