India, along with 21 other nations was identified as major illicit drug producing or transit country by US President Donald Trump. Other nations included on the list are Afghanistan, Pakistan and Myanmar.
According to a presidential determination, other countries listed in the group are the Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.
The countries have been listed in the group due to combination of geographic, commercial, and economic factors, allowing the transition and production of drugs. This, despite the government engaging in robust and diligent narcotics control measures, the US president said.
"A country's presence on the foregoing list is not necessarily a reflection of its government's counter narcotics efforts or level of cooperation with the United States," Trump said.
Bolivia and Venezuela were by Trump, designated as countries that have failed demonstrably to adhere to their obligations under international counter-narcotic agreements, in the last 12 months.
Trump asserted combatting the ongoing United States opioid epidemic is one of the most urgent priorities of his Administration. The US government has dedicated nearly USD 4 billion in additional funding to confront this national crisis, he added.
"Alongside these massive and historic United States efforts, I expect the governments of countries where illicit drugs originate and through which they transit to similarly strengthen their commitments to reduce dangerous drug production and trafficking,” Trump said.
The US president expressed his deep concerns over the expansion of illicit drug crops in Colombia, Mexico, and Afghanistan, which are now at record levels.
The US national interest, the health and safety of American citizens are directly affected by the drug production and trafficking in these countries, said Trump.
These nations are falling behind in the challenge to eradicate illicit crops and reduce drug production and trafficking, despite the efforts by security forces and law enforcement, he added.
"Heroin originating from Mexico and cocaine from Colombia are claiming thousands of lives annually in the United States. Afghanistan's illicit opium economy promotes corruption, funds the Taliban, and undermines that country's security, which thousands of United States service men and women help defend," he said.
The US will continue its strong support for international efforts against drug production and trafficking, as well as to strengthen prevention and treatment efforts in the United States, the US president said.