Regardless of major mineral reserves, Badakhshan is one of the most needful areas in the world. Lapis lazuli has been mined in the Sar-e-Sang mines, located in the Kuran – Munjan District of Badakhshan for over 6,000 years.
Goldsmiths is a historical industry in the northern Badakhshan province of Afghanistan which was stagnant for a while and now with many goldsmiths in town, the market is getting warmer than previous years and is prospering again.
According to local goldsmiths in Badakhshan, their products are now well-marketed with precious and semi-precious stones, and many customers come to Badakhshan from other provinces and many from outside the country to buy gold products.
Wasiqullah, a Badakhshan goldsmith who sells hammered silver in the goldsmith’s market, seemed to be satisfied with his job and wished he could boost his career with the government’s support.
If the mines in Badakhshan are legally extracted and are taken out from the control of the Taliban and other radicals’ groups, the industry will boost and employment opportunities will be available for hundreds of residents, Wassiqullah said.
There are at least seventy jewelry shops in Faizabad, the central city for Badakhshan and most customers are the women, a goldsmith in Faizabad said.
Asifa and Tahmina are two women who came to the Faizabad market to buy local jewelry products. They both love the products and appreciate how the local goldsmiths prepare attractive items for sale.
Most customers prefer to use these products to thrive in local products and contribute to the development of the local economy.
Abdul Hasib Daqiq, director of Badakhshan’s economy department is pleased with how the jewelry and goldsmiths market is doing in this province.
“We are pleased with the unprecedented boom in the goldsmithing industry in this province and Badakhshan local government is implementing support programs for the goldsmithing industry and other local industries”, Abdul Hasib said.
The experts and civil activists in Badakhshan believe that the government has not provided enough supports to the economy of this province and neither has paid attention towards the potential mining opportunities in this province.
This comes as several large mines in Badakshan are under the control of armed oppositions including the Taliban who are illegally extracting the mines to support the war economy in the country.