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Integrity Watch calls on govt. to engage people in mining sector

AT News

KABUL: The Integrity Watch Afghanistan, a non-government monitoring organization asks the government to engage people in the mine sector, saying that people are ready for cooperation.

Sayed Ekram Afzali, head of the integrity watch said Tuesday that engaging people would prevent corruption and conflicts over mine extraction.

“Our investigative report says that people are ready to cooperate with the government in the mine sector. The government needs to find out people’s problems in the region level through their engagement and monitoring to evaluate the companies involved in this sector,” said Afzali.

Around 1,400 mines are illegally extracted by powerful men in the country, according to ministry of mines and petroleum, who said that government had done nothing to prevent.

The integrity watch categorizes mine extractions in three parts: in Taliban-controlled areas, in areas where powerful armed groups and mafia have influence and the mines where locals have easy access.

Wali Zadran, deputy mines and petroleum minister, welcomed the watchdog’s report, assuring that they would work to engage people in mine assessment.

He said that people should recognize mine extraction as a national process. “We are working under the new policy to engage people in assessment of mines. It is illegal to support armed opposition. We have provided opportunities for people to attract their trust.”

The integrity watch has assessed 18 projects in seven provinces and has interviewed people in the mine areas.

It has specified 15 indexes for the ministry of mines in engaging people in the mine sector.

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