A dusty logjam of trucks inches across a rut in the mountains splitting Pakistan and Afghanistan, teeming with a cargo of fruit and coal as well as paying the Taliban authorities for the privilege of passage.
In downtown Kabul, a patrol of accountants inspects a bazaar, billing shopkeepers for trading honey, hair conditioner and gas hobs under the snapping white flag of the country’s new rulers.
Afghanistan is frozen deep in a second winter of humanitarian turmoil since the Taliban seized power in 2021, but cash is changing hands at a dizzying pace.
The Taliban Administration is proving adept at collecting tax, and seemingly without the corruption associated with Afghan’s previous administration.
At Torkham border, one trucker told AFP that under the old regime, he would pay 25,000 Afghani ($280) at illegal checkpoints along a 620-kilometre (380 mile) trip to Mazar-i-Sharif.
“Now we travel day and night, and no one asks us to pay,” said 30-year-old driver Najibullah.
Source: The Astafrican