Comments by Pakistan’s Distinguished Defense and Security Analyst Brig (Retd) Usman Khalid, Secretary General of Rifah Party The story of vast mineral wealth of Afghanistan is very similar to the tales spun in the Western media about the mineral wealth of Baluchistan. The story does not focus on the fact that minerals are soil or stone and need sophisticated technology and huge amounts of energy and capital investment to convert into sellable goods. The mining of metal ores or non metals is profitable when there are buyers ready to pay more than the cost of production and transportation. What the country gets is royalty and wages of employees, which is much smaller than what the investor gets. Oil has made some states rich because its cost of production in several countries is much lower than the selling price and their national companies own the oil wells. That is no yet the case with mineral products – metals or non-metals. Those who produce meat, grain and vegetables get better reward than those who work underground in mines. However, the warped expectation of wealth in Baluchistan and Afghanistan sustains insurgency in both places. That at least is the hope and intent of those who plant such stories in the media.

New York Times report announcing the US has found $1 trillion-worth of mineral deposits in Afghanistan has some observers wondering if the news is part of a public-relations effort to bolster support for the Afghanistan war as the mission’s death toll continues to climb.

An article in Sunday’s New York Times announces that “previously unknown deposits

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