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Nuristan’s timber smuggled to Pakistan

in Afghan Business

Nuristan’s timber smuggled to Pakistan

Eastern Nuristan province is suffering from ruthless deforestation, with timber being smuggled to neighboring Pakistan on camels and mules.

Areas such as Want Waigal, Kamdesh and Barg-e-Matal in Nuristan are endowed with think forests, where Pakistani traders pay frequent visits and buy timber at cheap prices from locals.

A member of the provincial council, Inayatur Rahman Mazhabyar, blamed a group of powerful individuals for having a hand behind the roaring business of timber.

The issue has been discussed with the provincial council but no measures have been taken so far, according to Mazhabyar.

However, Nuristan Agriculture Director Jafar Khan Amirzai rejected the allegations and called them baseless, saying no one could dare cut trees in the province illegally. He said his department allowed only the cutting of dried trees.

Governor Tamim Nuristan said that shortage of security personnel prevents protection of forests.

He said interior and agriculture ministries had been asked to deploy Special Forces for the protection of forests in Nuristan, following the precedent set up in Nangarhar.

According to Police chief Ghulamullah Nursitani, a joint commission, comprising of officials from the governor’s house, agriculture department, police, intelligence, attorney office and other government departments, was created in Paroon, the provincial capital.

Mr. Nuristani accused the residents for cutting down the trees at the request of foreigners.

However, he believed that the residents had realized the fact that forests helped prevent floods that would have otherwise damaged the natural resources and environmental services people relied on.

He said residents would assist officials with the protection of trees.

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