“Govt. has retaken control of some important mineral deposits in Kapisa after longtime”
AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The government has retaken control of some important mineral deposits in the Ala Sai district of central Kapisa province after 13-year, local officials said on Sunday.
Ghulam Naqshbandi Sapi, the district chief, told Pajhwok Afghan News that militants for long time had been controlling the riches existed in the district center and Hassanabad area.
Now the illegal mining have been halted as the Afghan security forces succeeded in retaken control of areas where the mines are located.
“Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers, national police and Afghan local personnel have been deployed in the district and militant activities have been reduced to a greater extent,” he added.
“The mineral deposits in Ala Sai district came under government’s control after 13 years,” Sapi said, adding that militants and local residents had been involved in the illegal mining.
“The illegal riches were smuggled to Pakistan and sold at high price, with some residents earning huge sums of money,” he added.
“Several mines of precious stones existed in Askin locality and were mined by anti-government elements,” Haji Ghulam Nabi, a local resident quoted by Pajhwok, as saying.
However, he rejected that the government had taken control of mines, saying there was no security check posts in the area. “Precious stones were smuggled to Pakistan via Laghman and Nangarhar provinces.”
Eng. Aziz, head of the petroleum and mining department, acknowledged some Kapisa natural resources were being dug up illegally.
“Teams of mining and petroleum could not travel to these areas because there was insecurity and no government control,” he said.
However, Provincial Police Spokesman, Mohammad Ayub Yousufzai said, “militants were driven from the areas as a result of clearing operations and all routes used for smuggling the riches were closed to rebels.” He pledged to bring all natural riches of Ala Sai under government control.
Recently, Afghanistan Anti-Corruption Network (AACN) released a report revealing that armed insurgents including Taliban militants and Islamic State (IS), aka, Daesh terrorist are being beefed by illegally digging mines.
A survey conducted by the AACN showed that insurgents gained $46 million through illegal extraction of minerals and its export only in Khogyani district of eastern Nangarhar province in 2016.
It is imperative that the National Unity Government to take strong action to ban illegal mining and its export. Currently illegally and unskillfully mineral extractions are continuing in different parts of Afghanistan.