Edgy calm prevails in Afghanistan Trade increases on borders since Taliban takeover


Two days after the last US soldier left Afghanistan after 20-years of military operations, an eerie calm has descended on the streets of capital Kabul.

Many believe that double suicide bombing at the airport followed by US drone strikes against ISIS-K hideouts has shown that peace in the war-torn country may still be far away.

While crisscrossing the 230 kilometers (142 miles) road from Torkham – a major border crossing with Pakistan – to Kabul, a tense atmosphere was palpable in small towns and villages.

At the border crossing, just a few heavily armed Taliban guards were staffing the security checkpoint.

Some of them looked like the US and Afghan army soldiers as they had donned battle dresses left behind by withdrawing forces but could not hide their identity as they were still sporting slippers in their shoes – a trademark of Taliban fighters, who hardly wear army tactical footwear.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, a cross-section of people said that so far Taliban have not caused any problems for them.

“If they are unable to solve problems in an orderly manner, at least they are not putting unnecessary hurdles,” said Sams ur Rehman, who accused previous government officials covering the customs office of fleecing people, demanding bribes, and causing problems for goods trucks and ordinary Afghans.

According to officials on the Pakistani side of the border, the volume of imports and exports has increased since the Taliban took control of the border.

Jalal Shinwari, a Pakistani transporter, alleged that the previous Afghan authorities used to take three to four times more money than the actual taxes as a bribe.—Anadolu Agency

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