The whole world was shocked when the Taliban took over Afghanistan, yet another time a humanitarian crisis has hit the Taliban who is controlling most parts of Afghanistan at present time. While a powerful country China has all warm words for the group it can be seen how desperately Afghanistan people want to cross the borders, for Afghanistan under the rule of the Taliban is nothing but hell on the earth. The Taliban has not been recognized as a government of Afghanistan but the group has been controlling the country in a somewhat official manner since the 15th of August. The history of the Taliban is quite horrifying, the way they treated the people of Afghanistan is nothing but terror, while some countries are not even labeling the group as terrorists in present times the truth is that the group is not different from what they were during the previous rule.
The Situation In Afghanistan
The environment of the country lacks happiness and peace, when the Taliban first came into the country during the 1990s they claimed to bring back Afghanistan it’s peace and discipline but the promises were just words and every action that took place was the opposite of the word “Peace”. Afghanistan has always been a warzone and even when it was ruled by the Islamic Emirates of Afghanistan that is another name of the same group Taliban, the situation got worse, the Taliban started harassing people, especially those who did not belong to their religion and justice was stated by these armed men. People of Afghanistan were living in a country where women were oppressed and treated as toys for the men of this particular group, every woman was forced to wear a burqa that would cover them fully and they were denied the basic human right to education.
The society buildup in Afghanistan was misogynistic and inhumane, the punishment was given in a different form to “show’ people if they will not walk by the strict Islamic rules imposed by the group, they too will be punished like this. The punishments included public execution, stone-pelting and some were even shot on the spot. A war can never bring anything good to a place and it did worse with Afghanistan. After years of suffering, the invasion of US military troops and aid by the allies were making the country stronger than before, women and men were living an actual life and were free to become what they want to but all this happiness and progress came down to nothing when once again Afghanistan was taken over by the Taliban.
Afghanistan is home to many natural resources but many of them are still untapped, even when the United States was there these resources were not touched, now that the Taliban has taken over and the improving economic state of the country is going down it will be very accurate to use these resources but the question is if the Taliban is ready for extracting these sources for the betterment of Afghanistan or they will let it pass on some another country?
Natural Resources And Afghanistan
In the present times, Afghanistan is one of the poorest nations globally. In the year 2010, officers of the US military and geologists put forward that the country which lies at the crossroads of Central and South Asia had mineral deposits worth nearly $1 trillion at that time. The minerals such as iron, copper, and gold including rare hearts are scattered across the province of Afghanistan. It has also been stated that Afghanistan might have the world’s biggest deposit of Lithium in its province. Not only Afghanistan has a beautiful culture but rare minerals worth so much but still the country is poor because most of these minerals, especially Lithium, are still untapped.
Lithium has given importance because in present times it is one of the most valuable resources. As the world is moving forward with the agenda of going green and stopping the depletion of sources, for doing such things the vehicles have to go fuel-free, which means they will need electricity for running. Lithium is an essential component in rechargeable batteries and other vital in many technologically operated devices but the availability of Lithium is scarce.
Afghanistan is one of the richest countries in traditional precious metals such as ruby and also has metals that are needed in present times but the extraction is not being done due to many reasons. Because of this the economy of Afghanistan is affected and going down since the United States withdrew its troops from the country.
Obstacles The Taliban Will Face If They Decide To Extract These Metals
The country has huge potential but lacks the infrastructure, the droughts have also prevented the extraction of minerals from the premises. Under the rule of the Taliban, it seems more difficult to extract the minerals. Even before the United States’ president, Joe Biden announced that all the troops will be withdrawn from the premises of Afghanistan the Taliban was already on its way to take over. By returning to power, the country’s economy is going down drastically and there are few to no chances of getting better.
In a survey of 2020, it had been shown that about ninety percent of Afghan people were living below the poverty level of $2 per day as considered by the United States. Looking at the profile of the country after the Taliban took over, the World Bank has made the statement of how the economy will still be aid-dependent. After the US withdrew forces from the country, many aids were being called back as well thus leading Afghans into a very terrible situation.
- People have no faith in the Taliban
Looking back to history, it is very obvious why people do not want to believe in whatever claims the Taliban is making. Many Afghans are still looking for opportunities so that they can leave the country as soon as possible. No one wants the Taliban in power, people are sacred and the Taliban has already started their strict Islamic Rule in the country, and women are once again locked up in their homes.
- The process of extraction is difficult and costly
Some extraction of metals like gold, copper, and iron have been done on the premises but rare earth like lithium is still untapped because it requires a greater amount of investment and specialists who are mastered in the art of extraction. It will require skilled laborers and technicians. According to the IEA, it takes more or less 16 years on average right from the discovery of a deposit for a mine to start its production. This huge amount of investment can not be done by the Taliban and they do not have enough funds. It will be true to say that this rare-earth will be untapped for a very long time and if not then other countries will have to take command. Most of the experienced people of the country have left Afghanistan for their good.
Opportunity For China
China has already been friendly with this group and it will not be wrong to consider that they might benefit from this. The extraction of Lithium is also important for China as they plan to go electric by the year 2030 and that is not so far away. For making electric vehicles they will need Lithium and there is a huge number of possibilities that they might get to extract it from Afghanistan but it will not profit Afghans in any manner. China is known for exploiting the land where they start extracting, they do not care what will happen to the land and even if they do that, the local Afghans will not get the benefit from it.
The Taliban has always failed Afghanistan, the country they claim to rebuild in a good manner but do exactly the opposite of it. In present times, they do not have any funds to extract the minerals that will bring profit in near future. China might take advantage as they have funds, technicians, and skilled labor, moreover they are being sympathetic towards the Taliban instead of Afghanistan so maybe that will work for them.