Taliban grapple with Afghan economy in chaos, humanitarian crisis

Kabul: Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers struggled to keep the country functioning on Wednesday after the final withdrawal of U.S. forces...


Kabul: Afghanistan's new Taliban rulers struggled to keep the country functioning on Wednesday after the final withdrawal of U.S. forces, with foreign donors alarmed about an impending humanitarian crisis.

Two weeks since the Taliban's sweep into the capital Kabul brought a chaotic end to 20 years of warfare, the Islamist militants have yet to name a new government or reveal how they intend to rule.

In an administrative vacuum, prices have soared and crowds have gathered at banks to withdraw cash.

Heavily-armed fighters have imposed control on Kabul, but Taliban officials were grappling with keeping hospitals and government machinery running following the end of a huge airlift of foreigners and Afghans who had helped Western forces.

The new, Taliban-appointed central bank head has sought to reassure banks the group wants a fully-functioning financial system, but has so far given little detail on how it will supply funds for it, bankers familiar with the matter said. read more

Qatar's Al Jazeera television reported that Qatari technical experts had arrived at the Taliban's request to discuss resuming operations at Kabul airport, currently inopera-bl-e.

The foreign minister of neighbouring Pakistan, which has close ties to the Taliban, said he expected Afghanistan to have a new "consensus government" within days.

Meanwhile, people fearful of life under Taliban rule rushed to the borders.

And in Panjshir province, members of local militias and remnants of former military units were still holding out under the leadership of Ahmad Massoud. Senior Taliban leader Amir Khan Motaqi called on them to put down weapons and negotiate.

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is home for all Afghans," he said in a speech.

The Taliban have declared an amnesty for all Afghans who worked with foreign forces during the war that started when they were ousted from power in 2001 over their refusal to hand over al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Taliban leaders have called on Afghans to return home and help rebuild. They have promised to protect human rights in an effort to present a more moderate face than their first government, which enforced radical Islamic law, including banning women from education and employment.

-News Feed

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