Afghanistan is sitting on a wealth of mineral reserves perhaps the richest in the region that offer hope for a country mired in poverty after decades of war, the mining minister says. There is already some mining underway such as ad hoc emerald extraction in the Panjshir valley region northeast of Kabul, where dynamite is used to blow gems out of the ground.
And the ministry has handed two coal mines to private Afghan companies, although they lack standard equipment. Afghanistan has to face the challenge of the insurgency, which overshadows development and has made many areas off-limits to foreign companies. Therefore "Any kind of agreement with Taliban will have to involve money and that money obviously would finance the insurgency in part," Mujda (a writer and analyst) told AFP.
But Adel is not concerned. "We can provide security for mining sites simply by hiring a private security company," he said. The minister's sights are firmly set on mining, bringing his impoverished country a brighter future. "In five years' time Afghanistan will not need the world's aid money," he said. "In 10 years Afghanistan will be the richest country in the region."