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China helping mine potential for Afghan development amid shadow of insecurity

By Hujjatullah Zia for China Daily | China Daily | Updated: 2018-08-13 10:40
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It is self-explanatory that the protracted war has not only resulted in civilian casualties but also in the loss of archaeological sites, historical statues and mineral resources in Afghanistan. For example, a statue of Buddha was destroyed by the Taliban's regime, historical artifacts were looted and mineral resources were excavated illegally and smuggled abroad.

Although some countries, including Japan, returned the artifacts, hundreds of others are still missing. Above all, illegal mining by warlords, criminal gangs and militants reportedly continues.

Despite having rich resources, Afghan people still suffer from poverty. To free the country from economic crisis and alleviate poverty, the Kabul government will have to boost its economic ties and make more contracts with companies for excavating mineral resources before they are exploited by militants and unknown individuals.

Moreover, the government has to tighten the security of mineral resources, ensure the safety of archaeologists, companies and mine workers and prosecute those who are involved in illegal mining or smuggling of Afghanistan's resources and artifacts.

The author is a columnist for Daily Outlook, an independent newspaper in Afghanistan.

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