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Afghanistan’s Disintegrating Economy Puts Pressure on the Taliban to Negotiate


Now not going through critical navy opposition, Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers are grappling with a brand new menace: an financial meltdown that would gasoline renewed challenges to their rule and has already put strain on them to share energy.

There was no legitimate government of Afghanistan since President Ashraf Ghani and most ministers escaped Kabul on Aug. 15. Within the eight days since then, the banks and cash exchanges have remained shut and costs for primary commodities have surged. Financial exercise has floor to a halt.

“Folks have cash, but it surely’s within the financial institution, which suggests they not have cash now. It’s onerous to search out money,” mentioned Bahir, a Kabul resident who labored as a monetary officer for a development firm. “That’s why the entire enterprise in Kabul has stopped.”

Within the Nineteen Nineties, a Taliban takeover revitalized the Afghan financial system, ending preventing between rival warlords and reopening roads to commerce. On the time, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates established diplomatic relations with Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers, and the following stability bolstered the motion’s attraction. To date, nevertheless, no nation has acknowledged the brand new regime in Kabul, inflicting an financial ache that would drive the Taliban to kind a extra inclusive—and reasonable—authorities that features rival political forces.

“The faster we push on a political settlement, the earlier we’ll save Afghanistan from the dire financial penalties which are looming,” mentioned Omar Zakhilwal, a former finance minister who returned to Kabul this week to affix power-sharing talks with the Taliban. “We’re working in tandem with the Taliban to deliver a standard face to Kabul once more: reopening of the banks, of the places of work, of the ministries.”

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