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.
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.
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
This is a local testimony coming from a region being ignored by regular media. In upper northeastern Afghanistan, Shugnan has similar people and values with the bordering Tajik Pamir. A young man, Arif Pamirzad, explains us how traditional strong women’s position and education are under threat as a consequence of the recent fall of the district. He calls the Taliban rulers to adopt a responsible policy in order to protect the next generation and the future of his people.
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.
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 facing
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..
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.