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Monday, May 04, 2009

Pakistan Tabliban Fund War with Gems

Daily Times4 May 2009
By Akhtar Amin

Swat Taliban are using money earned from mining and selling gemstones in Swat and Shangla for terrorism, entrepreneurs from the Swat valley said on Sunday.

Entrepreneurs in a Gem Bazaar – organised by the Pakistan Gems and Jewellery Development Company at Namak Mandi – told Daily Times that Taliban were using the money for terrorist activities in Swat, Buner and Dir districts of Malakand division.

  • Babu Khan, an entrepreneur from Swat who had displayed emeralds in the bazaar, said that Taliban had started extensive mining through hired labourers and were selling the precious stones in the black market.
  • He said plunderers had also taken over several mines of high quality gemstones, one of which had earned the government about Rs 90 million in a single auction in the past.
  • Another entrepreneur from Swat, Muhammad Ali, told Daily Times that Taliban had also taken over the Mingora emerald mine.
  • The Shamozai emeralds mine, some 25 kilometres from Mingora, and the Gujaro Killay emerald mine in the adjacent district of Shangla, are also under the control of the Swat Taliban.

Stones extracted from these mines are auctioned in the premises of the Mingora mine every Sunday, where dealers from all over Pakistan come to shop, he said.

The federal and provincial governments have not taken any action over “this looting and plunder of state property”, Muhammad Ali said. Imran Inam, a senior official of the Gems and Jewellery Development Company, told Daily Times that the US was also concerned over the Taliban occupation of emerald mines in Swat and Shangla and had talked to the Pakistani government.

The Rest @ Africa News Analysis

Posted by David Barouski at 00:19
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