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Assessing Afghanistan 2 months on

By Staff Writer

It is now almost two months since the Taliban’s rapid capture of Afghanistan.

The economy remains sluggish, especially since over 80% of the government’s budget comes from aid, essentially frozen. Further, the Taliban still doesn’t have access to the country’s reserves, whilst a request to speak at the UN was also denied.

Security has improved, and the Taliban has announced an interim government, comprising mainly the Taliban.

UK special envoy Simon Gass recently met with senior Taliban officials, including Mullah Abdul Ghani Barada, a sign that things may change; however, the UK continues to refuse to recognise the new Afghan government yet wants cooperation on militancy. Gass’s visit was significant as it was in Afghanistan and with the Taliban directly, instead of Qatar, which has been the case with the Dutch and Germans.

Speaking to Radio Islam International, Professor Faiz Zaland (Kabul) and Hashmatullah Muslih (Doha) painted a different picture of Afghan domestic life.

The market Prof Faiz argued had been revitalised, especially since security had improved. Professor Faiz also stated that the enhanced security had meant that exports and imports from Afghanistan and Iran have also increased.

Further, he stated that domestic flights had been restarted but that international flights have still not commenced.
Muslih reiterated Zaland’s statements, but did argue that economically the country was struggling. He argued that this was essentially a result of the ‘global deep state’, who had opposed the Taliban because of its Islamic roots.

Moreover, he cited the asset and cash freezes, arguing that much of the current so-called miss management results from this. He did, however, note that the Taliban government was unrepresentative, primarily since it comprised mainly Pashtun, which are a majority in the country, but which constitute only 45% of the country’s population.

Further, even the very few Tajik and Uzbek Taliban were not placed in positions of real power. Although communication between the Taliban government and the citizenry has improved, this lack of representation is causing concern, especially amongst minorities.

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