Mine revenue ends up in Taliban pockets
FAIZABAD (PAN): Officials in northeastern Badakhshan province say individuals continue excavating the tourmaline mine illegally, with its income and profit going into the pockets of insurgents.
Badakhshan is a mountainous region, which is rich in mineral mines of precious stones such as ruby, tourmaline and azure.
The province shares borders with China, Pakistan and Tajikistan, which has around 16 sites of mines of natural reserves where 3,500 labour have been working, according to mines’ department officials.
The officials said some individuals misused the profit of some of the precious mines.
Badakhshan Governor Shah WaliullahAdib said influential groups had been extracting mines of tourmaline in Jurm district for the last one year.
Talking to Pajhwok Afghan News, he said: “According to our information, there are some workers who work on tourmaline mines in Jurmdistrict on behalf of Taliban. The income of the mines straight goes to Taliban’s pocket.”
Currently, tourmaline stones are being excavated from one of the Jurm district’s mine, which are then being sold. The groups are not ready to deposit the 10 percent tax of their income to the government treasury, he deplored.
The mines’ department has the authority to award contract of tourmaline mines to a company but some influential do not want the contract to be signed because of their vested interests, he remarked.
He said security officials were directed to stop the illegal activities at the tourmaline mine but their efforts did not yield any result.
Similarly, a delegation of Ministry of Mines and Petroleum was invited to investigate the matter and bring the influential under law of the land, he said, adding but he was awaiting any outcome of that initiative.
There is no problem in azure and other mines, which are legally excavated, he said, adding “efforts are on to legalize the tourmaline mine. We will take every step to ensure its excavation in a professional and legal way.”
Tourmaline is a kind of stones, which has several times precious than azure, he added.
Azure is also used for decoration purposes and is not used for technical function. The azure mine is located in Sarsang locality on the outskirts of Karan-u-manjan district for which contract has been awarded to an Afghan company for the last 15 years.
Mohammad Akbar Noori, provincial mines department chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had allowed legal and professional extraction of some of the mines.
The mines of ruby in Ashkasham district and aquamarine mines in Baharak district are offered for contract, he informed.
The gold mine is located in Kohistan and Arghistan districts of Badakhshan where there are four lines of quartos and gold resources. There is 1 – 85 gram of gold in each ton of minerals.
There are also gold reserves in Kokcha River banks where around 400 milligrams of gold can be found from each cubic meter of sands.
Minerals and other natural resources assessment network has underlined the need to halt illegal extraction of mineral resources and asked for trial of the perpetrators.
A member of the network, Jawed Nuranisaid in a press conference that illegal extraction of precious and semi-precious stones are going on in most provinces of the country and are being smuggled abroad.
He asked for naming and trail of those 1, 400 individuals accused of illegal extraction by the network recently.
Based on article 9 of the constitution’s first chapter, minerals and other underground resources and historical monuments are government’s property. It is the responsibility of the government to preserve national property and organize its legal extraction and use.
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