Afghan coal sold to companies linked to Pakistan Army: Analyst
Kabul, July 11 (IANS) The owners of coal factories in Afghanistan said the Afghan coal is being sold to three Pakistani companies: Fauji Fertilizer Power Station, Cherat Cement Factory and Lucky Cement and Coal. Economists said these companies are linked with the Pakistan Army.
"Only at this company over the past two months, 10,000 tonne of coal have been exported to Pakistan, representatives of Fauji Fertilizer Power Station, Cherat Cement Factory and Lucky Cement and Coal come here and purchase it," said Mirwais Mali, a manager at a coal company in Afghanistan.
"The majority of our clients are the companies of Fauji Fertilizer Power Station, Cherat Cement Factory and Lucky Cement and Coal. They purchase it with less money," said Abdullah, an official of an Afghan coal company.
Sayed Masoud, an Afghan economist, says that the companies mentioned by the owners of the coal factories are connected to the Pakistan military.
"Currently, these cement factories are operating with coal, the companies of Fauji Fertilizer Power Station, Cherat Cement Factory and Lucky Cement and Coal, are the three major cement companies which are supported by the Pakistani military. I think the high volume and quick rate of export is due to military pressure," he said.
Deh-Sabz district of Kabul has recently become a hub of coal coming from northern provinces, TOLOnews reported.
Hundreds of trucks loaded with coal are commuting between Afghanistan and Pakistan on a daily basis.
"We are paid 30 or 50 Afs for dragging the coal of the truck," said Mohammad Jawad, a worker.
Earlier, Pakistani officials said that Islamabad would purchase the Afghan coal with Pakistani rupees, TOLOnews reported.
The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum said that it sells the coal to the Afghan companies.
"When we provide the coal to the private companies and they take it out of Afghanistan, we don't interfere about which country they sell it to, with which price they sell it, and even with which currency they sell it. But we sell it with Afghan currency inside Afghanistan," said Ismatullah Burhan, a spokesman for the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum.
With the increase of coal exports to Pakistan, the price of Afghan coal has recently seen a significant surge.
The price of one tonne of coal is more than 16,500 Afs.