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Editorial: Minerals mined by terrorist groups

Taliban and the Daesh terrorist groups have hands in extracting minerals in some parts of the country, according to a report recently released by an international organization. The two terrorist groups are mining talc, chromites and marble in the remote area of the eastern province of Nangarhar that help them make millions of dollars annually, according to the report released by the Global Witness. The organization claimed that Taliban militants earn 2.5 million to 10 million dollars a year only from extracting the talc.

The minerals as our national wealth have been unfortunately remaining ignored through decades by the governments and are being illegally used and smuggled by powerful individuals and groups. The mines of coal, lapis lazuli and emerald have been illegally extracted and smuggled to abroad for several decades, while these minerals are located in relatively secure areas of Panjsher, Samangan and Badakhshan.

The mines worth trillions of dollars and can solve all the problems and help the Afghans to stand economically on their own feet if they are under control of the government.

Insurgent groups that were engaged in poppy cultivation, drug product and trafficking to make money for fighting against the government and foreign troops, have opened another window towards their economic goals.

The extraction and smuggling of minerals is worrying that requires serious attention of the government to make prevention measures. According to the report, engineers from Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are working for the Taliban and Daesh in mineral extraction that is smuggled to abroad via Pakistan. Pakistan as a not good friend to Afghanistan has always making plans to loot our infrastructures and superstructures as it even uprooted the pistachio and grape trees to paralyze us economically.

The national unity government particularly president Ashraf Ghani demonstrate keenness in bringing the mines under the government control and launch development projects. But the interest has remained in the statement papers, and in action, the people saw nothing to make them hopeful for a good future. Unfortunately, poor governance is making more problems than insecure situation for development programs because of the existence of a strong corruption. This needs a self-fighting (struggle with corrupt things inside the administration) that could be done easily rather than fighting terrorist groups.

The government is called to put an end to the intractable acts in mining and prevent the smuggling of the national wealth by removing corruption and then retaking the mineral areas from terrorist groups. If it is difficult, then what will people expect the government to keep secure larger international projects such as the TAPI gas pipeline that passes insurgent-held areas?

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