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Joint committee formed to protect natural resources

Joint committee formed to protect natural resources

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May 24, 2018 - 17:40

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): A joint committee of different government organs has been constituted to work for protection of the country’s natural resources, an official said on Thursday.

Nargis Nehan, acting minister of mines and petroleum, told a press conference here that currently most of the natural resources of the country had been occupied by terrorist groups and individuals.

“If Talibaninfo-icon or Daesh exploit natural reservoirs so they are the opponents of the government, but some individuals within the government have also been involved in the illegal excavation of natural resources and some other illegal activities such as kidnapping, smuggling and others,” she said.

Without naming anyone, Nehan said people within the government system, members of Provincial Councils and Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon were involved in occupation, illegal mining and other activities.

She said currently the azure mines in Badakhshan province and coalmine in Smangan province were being exploited by people within the government.

She said in order to meet these challenges, a joint committee involving security institutions had been constituted.

Representatives from the ministries of mines, interior, defense, the National Directorate of Security (NDSinfo-icon) and National Security Council (NSC) were members of the committee.

The committee would introduce a mechanism through which security and safety of natural resources could be ensured.

Nehan added the creation of a 300-member strong unit for protection of mines had been suggested by the committee, which would ensure security of azure and coalmines.

She also talked about her recent trip to Uzbekistan and participation in the oil and gas conference.

Nehan said issues relating to investment in oil and gas areas were discussed with Uzbek officials.

She said Afghanistaninfo-icon had prepared a mechanism to attract investment in mining sector and the plan would be shared with Uzbek officials to prepare ground for signing of contracts.

nh/ma

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