Afghan Taliban threatens mining companies: Monitor
Last Updated: Tuesday, June 29, 2010, 10:18
Washington: The Taliban in Afghanistan has threatened foreign companies hoping to extract newly-disclosed mineral wealth in the poverty-wracked country, a group monitoring its communications reported.

Claiming the government of President Hamid Karzai is illegitimate and does not represent the Afghan people, the Taliban said the administration has no right to issue minerals contracts.

Any mining company working in Afghanistan will become a target and the government "will have no opportunity when it comes to providing security for those companies' workers and staff," according to US-based monitoring group SITE.

The Taliban further promises that "any party which enters into contract to extract natural minerals and which signs a deal with the corrupt administration, is renounced and is and will be treated as an 'apostate entity' by the Islamic emirate and the Afghan people."

The mineral wealth of Afghanistan has remained largely unexploited because the country has been mired in conflict for three decades and is today embroiled in an insurgency by Islamist militants led by the Taliban.

But the government has said the findings of a recently completed US geological survey could transform Afghanistan from one of the world's most impoverished nations to one of the richest, with up to three trillion dollars in mineral wealth.

Current minister of mines Wahidullah Shahrani on Friday promised total transparency in the awarding of contracts to exploit the country's mineral wealth during a trip to London to woo foreign investment.


First Published: Tuesday, June 29, 2010, 10:18

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