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Illegal mining, smuggling of chromites continue unabated

Illegal mining, smuggling of chromites continue unabated

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Apr 23, 2017 - 13:05

PUL-I-ALAM (Pajhwok): Some members of the provincial council have accused security forces of complicity in the smuggling of chromites in Mohammad Agha and Kharwar districts of central Logar province. But the governor’s house rejects the allegation as baseless.

Province council member Hasibullah Stanikzai told Pajhwok Afghan News the illegal extraction and smuggling of chromites had resumes in Mohammad Agha and Kharwar districts. He said there were nine chromites mines in Logar, from where unlawful mining and smuggling to Pakistaninfo-icon was ongoing.

He claimed the security forces were involved in the illicit practice.  “When we raise our voice through the media against the smuggling of chromites, the practice comes to an end but resumes after sometime.” He said no agreement had been signed with any company for the extraction of chromites.

Syd Qaribullah Sadat, another PC member, endorsed Stanikzai’s claims and said chromite mines were a national asset as they belonged to the entire nation. The government and local authorities should prevent the smuggling of precious stones, he demanded.

Zubair, an inhabitant of Mohammad Agha district, said: “There is a huge mine of chromites in our village, where illegal extraction has been ongoing over the past 10 years but no one has bothered about preventing it.” He added two truckloads of chromites were smuggled daily to Pakistan through Paktia province.

But the governor’s spokesman, Salim Saleh, rejected the allegations of the public representatives as groundless. He said chromite extraction agreements had been signed with some companies to create jobs for locals.

He said no company would be allowed to extract the stones illegally and no security official was involved in illegal digging. Chromite mines exist in Logar, Kabulinfo-icon, Khost, Parwan and Maidan Wardak mountains. The mineral is widely used in construction projects.

sa/mud

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