Taliban turn back Afghan govt employees returning to work

By: AFP      Published: 05:39 PM, 21 Aug, 2021
Taliban turn back Afghan govt employees returning to work

Afghan government employees in Kabul were blocked by Taliban militants from returning to work on Saturday, the first day of the working week.

Since the hardline Islamist group seized power six days ago, government buildings, banks, passport offices, schools and universities have remained largely closed.

Only a few private telecommunication companies have been operating in the past few days.

"I went to the office this morning, but the Taliban who were at the gate told us they have not received any orders to reopen government offices," said Hamdullah, a government employee.

"They told us to watch TV or listen to the radio for an announcement about when to resume work."

The Taliban have yet to form a government after sweeping to power at a speed that stunned the world.

In the chaos of a collapsed government, one of the top concerns among Afghans is continuing to earn a salary.

Most roads in the capital were largely deserted save for Taliban checkpoints and patrolling militants.

Roads leading to the foreign ministry in central Kabul were also closed, an employee of the ministry told AFP.

"They aren't allowing anyone to enter the ministry building," he said on condition of anonymity.

"One of them even told me to wait until the new minister and directors are appointed."

The foreign exchange market was also shut as it awaited instructions from the central bank, traders said.

Another employee at the Kabul municipality said he was disappointed that the Taliban were not reopening offices.

"I came with a lot of hope but left disappointed," said an employee at the Kabul municipality, which also did not reopen offices.

Workers at the offices of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation in Kabul were, however, allowed to enter after showing their ID cards, an employee said.

Categories : South Asia