Cover image CC Tom Hartley at Wikipedia
On December 13, 2021, we had a conversation with an Afghan citizen living in the middle of the Wakhan corridor. He says the situation under Taliban order is calm and safe. But he also describes the difficulties encountered due to degraded livelihood conditions. He shares his anxiety about the fact the current context does not offer sustainable perspectives for the future.
A non-conflicting situation
Taliban in the Wakhan corridor are Tajik Taliban from Warduj district (Badakhshan province). They are based in Khundud (also spelled Khandud, medium Wakhan). They enter unfrequently into Wakhan villages. The communication is possible between local population and Taliban. There were already some contacts in the past, before the fall, between Warduj, under Taliban regime, and Wakhan corridor, under the Republic regime. Moreover, there were no military actions in and from Wakhan against Taliban. A certain level of trust exists on both sides.
Difficult life and concerns for the future
Resulting from what is presented above, people are safe. But the price of basic goods is very high, while revenues dropped. Afghani currency versus dollar is low. All borders of Wakhan are closed with Tajikistan, China and Pakistan, as a consequence of political decisions or as a consequence of weather conditions. Even Irshad Pass (4,799 m) is inaccessible due to the snow level. People worry about the future. The current situation is quiet but it is not sustainable on a long-term point of view for issues such as economic situation, education, etc. Moreover, there are concerns about the fact the peaceful context could become less stable.
Ishkashim border between Tajik Badakhshan & Wakhan Corridor. The baazar on the no man’s land is vital for trade between the two communities. It is closed.
Irshad Pass (4,799 m) between UpperWakhan/Pamir & Chipurson valley (Pakistan) is closed.
If Taliban decide to kill the protected wildlife, nobody could stop them. But, nowadays, Taliban chief is opposed to illegal hunting. Taliban oppose, also, to wood or bush collection in the mountain to contain erosion. However, with animal dung, it is the only fuel available. There are no electricity and no gas in Wakhan.
Border frictions with Pakistan, local consequences
In Broghil, Pakistan army built three border pillars in concrete. Local Wakhi workers were hired for this construction. The pillars are erected 300 meters inside Afghan Wakhan. Taliban want to punish Wakhi workers involved in this job.
Broghil Pass (3,882 m) is one of the two passes (with Irshad Pass) between Afghan Wakhan & Pakistan.
Other articles on this website about Afghan Wakhan Corridor
Vestlige land må samarbeide med Taliban til tross for deres hatefulle og voldelige ideologi. Akkurat nå er Taliban nøkkelen, dersom vi skal lykkes med å nå frem til isolerte områder og folk som har et desperat behov for hjelp. Det er dette Thomas Lund fra Norge mener er plikt.Keep reading
Western countries need to coordinate with Taliban, regardless what their ideology of hatred and violence inspire them. For the time being, Taliban are the key if we want our support being brought to the Afghan isolated populations in desperate need of help. This is what Thomas Lund, from Norway, presents us as a human duty, based on his personal experience and local acquantancies of an expedition leader and activist in the mountains of the remote Wakhan corridor.Keep reading
Asad Wakhi, an Afghan young man, introduced to Pamir Institute a project about a primary school, 1 to 3 level. It needs support in one of the coldest places of Afghanistan. He transmitted us pictures that he took during last week of October 2021. Asad answered some questions from us. In this article, we will try to stay factual. Though, what is reported will provoke emotion for any normally sensible reader.Keep reading
In Europe, it is heard about foreign army translators, sport people, especially sport women, musicians, dancers, etc. being under threats or being killed by Taliban. But there is also a category whose existence is compromised. It is the one of the guides who took care of foreign visitors.Keep reading
The fall of Wakhan: part one
This article is first part of a series based on conversations with the people in Wakhan Corridor over a period of two months. The conversations were in Wakhi and have been edited for clarity. Names of the people have been changed to protect their identities
According to a resident witness, Taliban live detrimentally to the poor Tajik populations of Ishkashim and of the Afghan Wakhan corridor. They reportedly brought in forces from other parts of the country as well as suicide attackers. This could be explained by the conflicting relations with Tajikistan.Keep reading
Life has always been very difficult in Wakhan. It is one of the poorest regions of Afghanistan, one of the poorest countries of the world. Until recently, it was safe and peaceful. The Taliban invasion dismantled the fragile balance which allowed the population to satisfy to face its daily reasonable and limited needs.Asad Wakhi is a young man from central Wakhan. Today, he gave us some direct insight about the struggle his people is facingKeep reading
With closed borders, the Afghan Wahan has, now, to rely on Tajik citizens solidarity for phone & internet
Afghan Wakhan is the corridor stretching between the town of Ishkashim (Afghanistan) and Chinese border. It has no public infrastructure such as hospital, actual car road and phone network. However, from Ishkashim (Afghanistan) to Gaz Khan (Afghanistan), it is possible to use the TCell network going from Ishakahim (Tajikistan) to Langar (Tajikistan), on the opposite bank of th Panj River, but buying units became a nightmare since Taliban invasion..Keep reading
This is an outstanding but highly alarming direct testimony from an altitude remote and forgotten Afghan region. Far away from any media, the harsh and poor life of local people has been turned, by Taliban, into dereliction and extreme misery. Trapped in a full lockdown, people cannot escape what became a hell with no hope.
Those who, at an international level, whitewash the reputation of the Taliban 2.0 should reflect on the heavy responsibility they are taking.