Afghan government, people in win-win situation as coal trade with Pakistan picks pace

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As Pakistan’s private sector imports Afghan coal to fuel their plants, the government and people of war-hit Afghanistan are in a win-win situation to benefit from the economic activity generated through the bilateral trade.

Currently, three companies from Pakistan are in coal trade with Afghanistan as so far no agreement could reach between the two governments for the trade.

However, as Pakistan and its private sector strive to support their Afghan brethren through revival of the economic activity, the hostile elements are poised to undermine the efforts to serve their vested interest.

Recently, Afghan’s TOLO News reported that all of three Pakistani companies buying trade from Afghanistan were related to Pakistan Army and that they were purchasing the coal at reduced rates. But factually, the coal imports are undertaken by private companies on both sides having nothing to do with Pakistani government or institutions.

Even, Afghan ministry of petroleum also denied existence of any official contract with Government of Pakistan or any Pakistani organization regarding the export of Afghan coal. The Afghan media report is based on misinformation and lacks authenticity as two out of said three companies are privately owned and have no links with the armed forces, an official source said.

Currently, Afghanistan’s coal trade market is one of its biggest revenue resources, which is running an economic cycle benefitting the common Afghans from miners to transporters. As per Afghan Chambers of Commerce and Investment, the surge in exports of coal caused the rise in the country’s annual revenue.

However, any false reporting and narratives are meant only to harm the livelihood of common people. The impression by Afghan media that Pakistan was robbing Afghanistan of its natural resources is an absolute fantasy because in this entire coal trade Afghanistan is in a win-win situation.

Under the trade, Afghan government is awarding contracts to all Afghan coal businessmen who hire all Afghan labour for coal extraction. The extracted coal is transported through trucks owned by Afghans and the coal-laden trucks pay toll tax and export duty to Afghan government to enter Pakistan. At the end, Pakistan’s private sector also pays to Afghans to buy the coal.

Pakistan’s power plant is the lone consumer of low-grade Afghan coal and in case Pakistan switch to other less expensive coal sellers; the sole losers will be Afghanistan’s common people, its mining industry and the government.

Therefore, Afghan government and people must not fall prey victim to corrupt politicians who have minted millions and fled abroad and now wants to halt the path to prosperity and development for abandoned Afghans.

Actually, the Afghan people need to understand that those running anti-Pakistan propaganda are the real culprits who had been active since August 2021. As they cannot provide sustenance to Afghan people, so they are involved in propaganda against willing supporter and long time-tested and trusted friend of Afghanistan and its people.

 

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