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Insecurity hampers extraction and processing of minerals: MoMP

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: A mind increasing insecurities in the country, Ministry of Mines and Petroleum said that insecurity is a immense challenge against excavation of mine and pave the ground for illegal mining in various parts of the country.

Spokesman for the ministry Mahuddin Noori said that due to insecurity Afghan government lose a huge amount of its internal income in the area of illegal mining and smuggling of expensive minerals.

He said that powerful individuals and armed insurgents illegally excavate the azure mine in Badakhshan province.

“If government maintains security of Keran wa Monjan district of Badakhshan province, the ministry is ready to put its azure excavation for biding,” he asserted.

Earlier the Global Witness issued an investigation report about illegal mining of azure in Keran and Manjan.

The report claimed that in the 2014 armed groups excavated only $20 million from these mines which is equal to all incomes of Afghan government in sector of mining.

“Despite of prohibition of government the armed insurgent groups gained around $12 million from illegal mining of azure in these districts, in 2015. By empowering Taliban has increased their contribution as in the medial of 2016 Taliban received at least 50 percent of mining incomes,” said the investigation report.

Ministry of Mine and Petroleum welcomed the investigation report and accept majority of its findings.

Noori said that ministry of mine is responsible to manage the country’s mines, but it is the responsibility of the other law enforcement administration to maintain the security of minerals for excavation.

“The small and medium mines are ready to put in bidding for excavation if government insures the security of the resources” he lamented.

Spokesman for Ministry of Interior Sidiq Sidiqi said that Taliban exploit excavation of mines and smuggle of narcotics to launch terrorist attacks and subversive activities against Afghan government.

He added that the national Security Council ordered to the security organs to seek proper ways for prevention of illegal mining and the security forces are committed to suppress the Taliban insurgents.

“In the current year, interior ministry with the cooperation of mines ministry would launch necessary security measures against rooting out of the armed insurgents where they exploit from mineral,” he vowed.

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