The new Taliban mayor Kabul has no time to waste as he deals with hundreds of petitioners who surround the city center daily.
Seated behind a Taliban flag, Hamdullah Nomani spent a few minutes contemplating complaints from ordinary people sitting on a large table. Many of them see the return of the Taliban as an opportunity to solve their past and present problems.
The seller is told he could reopen his apartment where he was arrested by “powerful men”. Another is told that the tenants should pay the rent if they have refused for many years. A law has been signed to ban bottling companies from extracting Kabul’s groundwater and selling it to remote areas.
Nomani, a former mayor of Afghanistan under the first Taliban regime in the 1990s, said his people expected more governments than when the party began to take over, after the city was disrupted by the 1992-96 civil war. Kabul is now a very different place: the city has enjoyed rapid growth in the years following the US-led invasion that drove out Muslims, with funds being poured into construction, construction and new businesses.
“In the past the main task of the townspeople was to try to fix the wreckage and clear the mine,” he said. “Now we have to look after a city with towers and 6.5m people. We need to call in experts and engineers. ”
But providing services that Afghanistan is accustomed to is a long-term process the fall of prosperity, the withdrawal of Western financial aid and the departure of management experts since the Taliban received it in August.
One of the most common and popular work under Muslims is immediate justice. Even the strongest Taliban critics agree that crime is a result of instantaneous criticism and shame.
In recent days, the robbers have had their faces painted black, a man who stole from a water vendor was tied with a tapestry and his picture was shot on Taliban TV accounts, and a cell phone hijacker was tied to a sign outside the Kabul mayor’s office and disrupted.
However, Daoud Sultonzoy, the ousted mayor of the city, who despite having no responsibilities still visits his old offices every day to encourage the new superintendents, said his previous plans, which included plans to run Kabul’s original toilets, were set aside.
“They are looking very much at law and order because the last time they came they experienced a very dangerous situation where women and boys were raped and there was a robber at every corner,” he said. “This time things have changed a lot but their old doctrine still works.”
Lack of funds also hampers employment. Last year Afghanistan’s budget was $ 5.5bn, while about 80% was paid by the US and donors worldwide. The money ran out when the Taliban began seizing it. The US also invested $ 9.5bn in Afghanistan’s economy.
Omar Zakhilwal, a former finance minister, said the Taliban could save money with a smaller army that was spending less money than was spent on US-based security forces. Fighting corruption in the export sector enhances one of the government’s most lucrative sources of income, he said. But the difference in money to melt away could not be overlooked – as many Taliban appear to be hoping – and China, the main, warned.
“The Taliban are ready to negotiate,” said Zakhilwal, one of the few politicians still living in Kabul. “I could talk to them, talk to them, and try to explain the government’s problems. But have I made progress? No. ”
Problems abound. The World Health Organization says the health system in Afghanistan is “on the verge of collapse” as conditions are deteriorating and workers’ salaries are not paid. Government workers have not been paid for two months and have many worries about feeding their families.
Hashmat Stanekzai, an official at the Ministry of Information and Culture, said he was going to his office for a few hours each day before looking for another job or trying to find a way out of the country. “We have been told to go but there are no supervisors and there is nothing we can do,” he said.
Many civil servants do not want to work under a new regime. Aw able to move the country in the days of chaos after the fall of Kabul said. Some continue to exit even though the border limits have been closed for many travelers – paying for traffickers or finding seats for a few trips to Pakistan.
Ahmad Mujtaba Niazi, a former adviser to the minister of education, paid $ 1,500 per seat for a 50-minute trip to Islamabad which was filled with government officials and people who had worked with foreign organizations.
“A Talib who is here doing my job just calls me on the phone to keep me safe and to come and tell him what needs to be done,” he said. “But they are hypocrites. We are not safe. They are not interested in hearing what people like us are saying. ”
He was not influenced by the previous government elections. It includes the appointment of a minister led by the Pashtun Talibs who do not know much about the administration and the reform of higher education which run the University of Kabul and mullah.
After the collapse of the police and army, security in the country is in the hands of various unpaid Taliban groups. Mullah Mohammad Yaqoob, the defense minister, has publicly criticized some of his fighters for not punishing them and retaliating against the killings.
There are talks between the Taliban to maintain order in its armed forces, which may include former terrorists and the military, but no one has been announced.
Currently Taliban militants say 70,000-100,000 are fighting in key areas, including Kabul and Panjshir Valley, where systemic rejection they had to be put down. It is not enough for a person to go through more than 400 sections.
“At first the Taliban came and settled in our province but later they all went to Panjshir to fight,” said a human rights activist in the northern region of Badakhshan. “They just leave 14- or 15-year-old boys to take care of them.”
Each Taliban group is making its own. Many rely on support from their families or food from banks and businesses that have taken on self-sufficiency.
“They are playing on the Afghan hospitality culture of always providing food to visitors,” said one business official. “If you have a couple of guests, that’s fine. If you feed 40-50 people three times a day you have a problem. ”
Alokozay, the country’s largest retail company, provides 10,000 free daily meals to Taliban militants in Kabul and other provinces, according to businessmen.
Ahmadullah Ahmadi, a 30-year-old leader from the Badri 313 Taliban militia, said: in the western part of Kabul. “We are not working for money, we are working for the sake of Allah and Islamic rule. We do not need tall buildings or airplanes or all these things. ”
Whether the unpaid security work will boost the interest of the men attracted to the group is a promise of a non-violent war against prospective unbelievers.
A former government official predicts the “attraction” of the Taliban government if it does not prevent the whole country from being informed and reimbursed for more foreign currency.
Such thinking, he hoped, could empower future members of the Taliban leadership.
Michael Semple, a former Afghan scholar, said there was a chance the dictatorship would not last for six months.
“They have 30m people to take care of them and they don’t have the money to deal with them,” he said. “They will receive humanitarian assistance but they will be few. Retaliation for oppression and violence will lead to rejection.”