Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

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Taliban territory: Life in Afghanistan under the militants

AAN < 1 min

BBC, 8 June 2017

A rare glimpse into Taleban controlled area in Helmand – Sangin and Musa Qala – “the Taliban’s de facto capital”:

“We were not allowed to film anything to do with opium. The opium trade is synonymous with this region (…)  “Opium is our economic necessity, but we hate it as much as you do.” (…)

Bullets for a Russian machine-gun used to be 40 cents each, but were reduced to 15 cents because – according to the shopkeeper – too many of them had been captured from the Afghan security forces. (…)

“The government recently did their inspections; our schools were officially registered; our salaries that were locked for a year were later released,” said Abdul Rahim, the government’s head of education for Musa Qala. (…) “The government give us stationery and everything else, we implement the government syllabus and the Taliban don’t have a problem with it,” he said. (…)

No girls over the age of about 12 were being educated in the Taliban capital. But girls were deprived of education here even before the Taliban took hold, because it is a very conservative area. (…)

In Musa Qala, using mobile phones and the internet was banned for security and religious reasons (…) Filming and playing musical instruments are also not allowed. One young man told me he was given 40 lashes for watching a Bollywood film. The Taliban have cracked down on bachabaze (…)

Despite the internet ban, there are wi-fi hotspots providing a connection to the outside world. A few dedicated fans of Turkish and Indian soap operas have televisions connected to small satellite dishes.