Rise in kidnappings worries Afghan entrepreneurs
KABUL (Pajhwok): Members of the National Consultative Board of Afghan Entrepreneurs on Monday expressed their concern over increasing kidnapping incidents of Afghan traders, saying at least 44 private entrepreneurs have been abducted and eight of them killed during the past three months.
Speaking at a press conference here, the board chairman, Alhaj Rahimuddin Haji Agha warned if the government failed to security of traders, they would quit their businesses.
Last year, more than 100 traders were abducted, but this year in less than a quarter 44 Afghan traders have been abducted, he said, adding most of the kidnapping incidents involved unidentified gunmen and most of the incidents occurred on the Kabul-Torkham highway.
“In such a situation who can travel or invest in the country. I want media outlets to give coverage to the issue and draw government’s attention before all traders flee the country,” he said.
Until security of traders, their assets and families was not ensured, they would abandon their business, Agha said.
Afghanistan Industrialists Association (AIA)’s deputy head, Abdul Rahim Faizan, told the press conference that investments in the country had declined due to the increase in kidnappings.
Abduction of traders by unidentified gunmen across the country was a big challenge for them and if the government did not pay attention to the issue, small entrepreneurs would quit their businesses, he said.
However, Ministry of Interior (MoI) spokesman Seddiq Seddiqi said they were aware of the concerns of entrepreneurs and police in all provinces had been ordered to take strict measures for security of businessmen.
“Police work jointly with traders to prevent such cases. Recently the Ministry of Interior announced it would interrogate police officials of the areas where abduction cases occur,” he said.
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