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Illegal mining to produce bad consequences: ASA

Illegal mining to produce bad consequences: ASA

Aug 21, 2017 - 20:30

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Academy of Sciences of Afghanistaninfo-icon (ASA) on Monday warned continued illegal extraction of the country’s mineral wealth would produce problematic security and political consequences.

Suraya Popal, acting ASA director, said this while addressing an academic-investigative seminar “The challenge of finding resolution and international community’s support in preventing illegal extraction of Afghanistan’s mines” in Kabul.

“Illicit mining causes wasting of national capital and will have awkward consequences in security and political arenas,” she said.

“Terrorists and strongmen with illegal extractions and revenues from mines weaken the rule of law and fund the insurgency. Thus, extraction of the country’s minerals should be done in line with the law and international standards before it’s too late.”

According to Popal, if mineral extraction process is legalized, it would not only strengthen the country’s budget, but would also achieve a desirable economy.

She said the US Department of Defense and the Afghanistan Geological Survey (AGS) had estimated the total value of Afghanistan’s minerals at $3,000 billion; however, this estimation wasn’t complete and accurate because the amount might be higher.

The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum (MoMP)’s strategy on mining should be based on strong management, she said.

She asked the government to prioritize the appointment of profession individuals, rule of law, strengthening of security forces, bringing reforms in assigning mines to private companies and establishing an appropriate framework for legal extraction of mines.

Rahmat Gul Ahmadi, deputy ASA’s head for natural sciences, said illegal extraction of mineral had been ongoing over the past three decades in the country and its further continuation had a negative impact on the environmentinfo-icon and had hardly hit the economy and revenues of the country.

Nargis Nehan, MoMP’s deputy minister, in her message read out at the seminar, said mines and natural resources were part of the huge and untapped capital of Afghanistan that could result in economical development, prosperity and security and stability of the country.

According to her, the MoMP had made serious efforts at issuing contracts for mineral extraction, but due to insecurity; the ministry’s programs couldn’t be fully implemented.

She said the country’s mines in areas having relatively good security were misused by commanders and local strongmen and in areas under Talibaninfo-icon the minerals were looted by insurgents with support of smugglers.

Nehan said MoMP was working on a mining strategy to evaluate all dimensions of illegal extraction of mines and take practical steps in this regard with support from security forces and other organs concerned for the sake of establishing a strong economy.


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