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‘Illegal digging of some Paktia mines continues’

‘Illegal digging of some Paktia mines continues’

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Dec 08, 2019 - 17:33

GARDEZ (Pajhwok): The Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) official in southeastern Paktia province on Sunday alleged some natural reservoirs were illegally dug.

The absence of exact surveys and other relevant information was a big issue and added investors were keen to invest in mining sector but pertinent institutions did not cooperated with them.

Paktia CCI Head Abdul Naseer Alamyar told Pajhwok Afghan News some identified mines in the Zurmat, Janikhel, Syed Karm and Ahmadabad district were dug illegally and no authority stopped the illicit practice.

Alamyar said the mines being dug were in the Talibaninfo-icon’s control areas and the Janikhel district has fallen to the Taliban two times. He said the reason behind insurgency and other conflicts was economic interest.

“Crystal, Chromite and copper are excavated illegally and the government should conduct its survey to identify the capacity and volume of natural resources there,” he said.

Some investors also slammed the Ministry of Mining and Petroleum for paying no attention to the development of mining sector in Paktia. They believed the ministry did not share information and granted no mining contract from Paktia.

Businessman Mohammad Khalid Nawabzada said: “Paktia has large scale natural reserves but no survey has been conducted in this regard and not information provided to attract investment in this sector.”

Another Businessman Abdul Ghafoor Rawan said domestic and foreign investors would show interest to invest in Paktia natural resources if a proper survey of these mines is conducted and its information is shared.

Sakhi Wafayar, the Provincial Council member, said as a result of insecurity illegal and unprofessional demining had been stopped in some areas while the digging of a copper mine in the Ahmadabad district was stopped on the bases of decision by the tribal Jirgainfo-icon.

“Our mountains are rich in natural resources. About Ahmadabad’s copper mine I will tell you that some groups and individuals tried for illegal digging but no it had been stopped. If government unearths natural resources it will benefit both the state and the people,” he said.

Farhad Yousufzai, head of the Mining and Petroleum Department for Paktia, express disappointment over the lack of attention by the mining ministry and said natural resources of rare and precious minerals existed in Paktia which need to be explored.

He said information and surveys from Dr. Najibullah’s tenure existed while his department strived to conduct new surveys at the capacity and strength of his department.

“Paktia is rich in chromite, taluk, copper, coal and other precious natural reservoirs. The ministry has its own survey teams for surveys. We have also demanded the survey teams to visit Paktia and conduct their surveys,” he said.

The Taliban have acknowledged illegal digging of some natural resources in area under their control.

Taliban Spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said common people conduct the digging and the Taliban did not stopped them because the practice was linked to their economy.

It is worth mentioning that in 2015, a group of people dug hundreds tonnes of copper from the Ahmadabad copper mine on the bases of fake contract papers.

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