Ground Report | New Delhi: How rich Taliban is; Afghanistan is once again in crisis as the Taliban recaptured the capital, Kabul, on Sunday after two decades of violent fighting. Militants have called the country an “Islamic Emirate” while thousands have tried to flee the city. President Ashraf Ghani hastily left the presidential palace and fled.
The Taliban government was overthrown in 2001, but after the withdrawal of US troops, they have spread across the country, occupying new territories in recent months. Afghanistan is now effectively under the control of the Islamic group as it has taken over all major cities and most parts of the country.
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How rich Taliban is
Afghanistan is the world’s largest exporter of opium. This is the source of most of the money that the Islamic group receives. Earlier, in 2000, the Taliban banned poppy cultivation, but it is believed that the reaction of rural farmers has softened their stance.
Experts believe the Taliban has long been involved in drug trafficking with government officials, but disagree on how much money the Taliban actually make from drugs.
The parts of the country that are under the control of the Taliban have imposed a kind of tax known as ‘usher’. A 2012 UN report stated that the tax was 10% of agricultural production and 2.5% of the wealth.
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Who provides weapons?
As the Taliban spread across Afghanistan, they stole weapons that the United States had given to the Afghan army and police. Robert Cruz, an Afghanistan expert at Stanford University, told the Washington Post: Then we have to go to government bases and seize weapons.
The Taliban also have weapons and equipment donated to them by other groups or states that somehow sympathize with their cause.
Earlier in 2018, the United States accused Russia of providing aid and weapons to the Taliban.