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Daily Evacuation Brief | October 18, 2023
LAST 24 HOURS
THE TALIBAN’S NEW ENTREPRENEURIAL CLASS – The changes brought about in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of coalition forces have followed a historical evolutionary social model that has been played out multiple times throughout history. In Afghanistan’s case, the Taliban swept into power with a mountain of religious zeal and a desire to adopt the regressive principles outlined in Deobandist doctrine. Unlike the period after the Soviet withdrawal, where the communist regime in Kabul held on for several years before conceding defeat, the change in Afghanistan was an overnight affair. The jubilation on the part of the Taliban was readily apparent and an intoxicating sense of holy righteousness swept over the ranks. The Taliban promised an uncorrupted dream that would supplant the corrupt and Western-imposed ways of the old republic. It lasted for a while. The Taliban fighters that streamed into Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif, and elsewhere went about their duties without a formal pay system and attempted to fulfill the formerly occupied roles by professionals trained in policing, administration, and technocrats. They did so with a guiding moral purpose to be better than what had been in place before. That dream quickly faded and has since been replaced with multi-faceted money-making schemes that permeate all levels of the new regime. Many among the lower ranks have simply translated skills they learned while fighting the old government and now use them to enrich themselves. The security checkpoints that crisscross the country are now extremely profitable (and officially sanctioned) methods of extorting money from drivers and passengers. This was something that the Taliban exploited successfully while fighting the old regime and the coalition forces. In cities, the Taliban patrols have adopted mafia-like tactics and pressure shopkeepers for ‘tribute’. Mid-level and senior leaders are reputedly profiting from a portion of the international aid that comes into the country. Many are involved in the smuggling trade with neighboring countries that have always existed. Despite the continued calls from the Supreme Leader to ‘stamp out corruption’ the new government appears to be charging bribes for nearly every public service it seems to offer and the practice is overlooked or often written off as ‘a reward’ for services rendered during the jihad. Afghan citizens, already reeling from an unstable economy and lack of employment, are being crushed under the additional weight of these criminal ‘informal taxes’. The new ‘justice system’ that has been imposed provides no legal alternative for citizens and is widely viewed as a rubber stamp for any Taliban excess on the people. The fourth estate has been obliterated so there is no recourse for average Afghans to publicly air or criticize these practices. The dream is definitely over.
TALIBAN DELEGATION IN CHINA FOR BELT AND ROAD INITIATIVE – The Minister of Commerce and Industry led a delegation to China on Monday to discuss Afghanistan’s part to play in the ambitious project. Of primary importance to Afghanistan was the establishment of a commercial transit route through the Wakhan Corridor in the North. The investment cost to build the thoroughfare has been estimated to reach $1 billion and China is reputedly concerned about security along the route which has been a historically volatile region and prone to banditry. However, most international industrial analysts say the project is likely to move forward after this year’s mining concessions were successfully negotiated. A source in Kabul said that a potential sticking point could be a request made by China for the Taliban to expel members of the Eastern Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM) that are known to be operating in Afghanistan. The source said that Kabul believed the request had been made after a meeting between Chinese and Pakistani officials. This unconfirmed meeting was reputedly focused on Pakistan’s interactions with the Taliban over the TTP issue.
NEXT 24 HOURS
NO THREATS REPORTED
The head of the UK’s intelligence service said yesterday that Iranian-backed terror attacks in the country may be possible while the war between Hamas and Israel continues.
A US congressman announced he was drafting legislation that would authorize the use of the US military force in the Middle East.
An Iranian news outlet says that US officials sent a four page letter to the Iranian Ambassador to the UN in New York, asking Iran to intercede and contain the conflict in Gaza.
The IMF has reiterated its demands for Islamabad to reform the pension system for federal workers as the costs have increased by nearly 500%. The issue is expected to come up in talks scheduled for the end of October.
The World Bank is considering a loan of $150 million to finance energy sector projects. Of the sum, $135 million would be loaned while $15 million would be issued in the form of grants.
1 child was killed and 9 are wounded after a hand-grenade exploded in Wadh City (Balochistan). The children were playing with the device when it was triggered.
By Jeremy Powell - EurAsia Review
One of the most eventful things to have happened recently was from an unexpected source. The State Department and the intelligence apparatus didn’t initiate any coups somewhere in the Third World, the Kremlin didn’t launch a blitzkrieg and capture Kiev, and a currency from the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) hasn’t entered circulation yet. For the man who was once heralded as a savior for spearheading electric vehicle technology (even with bylines backing Barack Obama) and space exploration, Elon Musk has once again reaffirmed his status as the Beltway’s number one opponent in an extremely bold fashion, far outpacing his purchase of Twitter and the release of the Twitter Files. He denied a Ukrainian request to turn on Starlink and use it to help Kiev launch drone strikes on the Crimean city of Sevastopol.
By AMU TV
The women surveyed overwhelmingly reiterated the financial and mental hardships they are experiencing due to the Taliban’s ever-increasing restrictions on…
By Fidel Rahmati - Khaama Press
The Provincial Directorate of Afghan Refugees in Nangarhar province has announced that 534 Afghan migrant families have returned from Pakistan as part of the ongoing trend…
By The Times of India
A mob of Afghans residing in Pakistan’s biggest city attacked a team of Customs accompanied by police and paramilitary rangers after they carried out a raid to seize smuggled goods…
By TOLO News
Afghan journalists in Pakistan are in a dire situation and their families will also face danger if they are deported from Pakistan, the…
By TOLO News
Abdul Rahman Haqqani, in a meeting with Turkey's ambassador to Afghanistan, called on them to provide work for them instead of…
INTERNATIONAL NEWS RELATING TO AFGHANISTAN
By AMU TV
Donor countries and organizations have already cut back substantially on funding on the back of escalating restrictions by the Taliban against women and…
By Akmal Dawi - VOA
The United States has engaged in high-level diplomatic discussions in Pakistan to address concerns related to Afghan refugees on the brink of mass…
THE DAILY WTF
By Natasha Anderson - The Daily Mail
The British danger tourist who was held captive by the Taliban for eight months says he plans to return to Afghanistan within weeks and has praised the country's 'solid'...
“Bonne chance et bon courage. Balourd.” TAD Staff
Afghani to the Dollar: $1 – 75.54 AFN (as of 18 OCT 2023)