Ramped-up coal exports to Pakistan causing truck shortage

KABUL (TOLOnews): Hundreds of tonnes of coal from mines across the country are being exported on a daily basis to Pakistan.
The industrial companies working in the coal business said that the majority of coal is from Dara-e-Soof of Samangan and Balkhab district of Sar-e-Pul province.
Meanwhile, the media, citing the country’s Ministry of Finance, said that Islamabad will import the Afghan coal depending on price.
The trucks bring the coal from mines across the country to Kabul, and from there it is exported to Pakistan.
“Approximately 500 tonnes of coal are brought here every day and are sent abroad,” said Mirwais Mali, head of a coal industry company.
The drivers of trucks carrying the coal said that the convoys of trucks exporting the coal abroad have been significantly increased.
“Previously, it was the flour, but now the convoy of coal trucks are extended from Khinjan to the tunnel,” said Barialai, a driver.
“There is a shortage of trucks because the export of coal has increased,” said Farid Ahmad, a driver.
“The coal is brought here. It is coming from Mazar-e-Sharif and from here it heads to Pakistan,” said Mohammad Jawad, a driver.
A Pakistani media cited the Pakistani Minister of Finance Miftah Ismail as saying that Pakistan was interested in importing coal from Afghanistan provided it was available at affordable rates.
The Ministry of Mines and Petroleum said that around 10,000 tonnes of coal are exported to Pakistan every day.
“Every day, around 10,000 tonnes of coal are exported,” said Islmatullah Burhan, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum.
Afghanistan has 80 coal mines and currently extraction operations are ongoing at only 17 mines.