Kabul’s previous ‘Green Zone’ deserted as diplomats flee Afghan funds

KABUL, Aug 16 (Reuters) – Kabul’s previous diplomatic quarter fell silent on Monday as overseas

KABUL, Aug 16 (Reuters) – Kabul’s previous diplomatic quarter fell silent on Monday as overseas missions were being moved to the airport, leaving Taliban patrols in manage of the fortified zone of concrete blast partitions and checkpoints recognized as the Environmentally friendly Zone.

With law enforcement and protection contractors who as soon as guarded the embassies in the Wazir Akbar Khan district now long gone, some motorists have been forced to get out of their autos and elevate stability barriers themselves before driving via.

“It is weird to sit in this article and see empty streets, no extra hectic diplomatic convoys, huge cars with guns mounted,” explained Gul Mohammed Hakim, a person the city’s ubiquitous naan (bread) makers who has a shop in the area.

“I will be here baking bread, but will generate incredibly small amounts of dollars. The stability guards who ended up my good friends, they are long gone.”

A pair of streets away from the now-deserted British embassy, a Taliban patrol went into the compound of Tolo News, Afghanistan’s most significant private broadcaster which missing a number of journalists to Taliban assaults around the decades.

“So significantly they are well mannered, enquiring about our weapons (of the security crew),” Saad Mohseni, head of Moby Group, which owns the station, mentioned on Twitter. “They have also agreed to maintain the compound safe”.

Somewhere else in the metropolis, there was a mood of stunned concern among the a lot of former federal government staff and civil rights activists, caught wholly by shock by the lightning seizure of the town and the flight of President Ashraf Ghani.

“No one could consider it would go so rapidly,” reported a single former authorities staff, now hiding in a friend’s residence. “They took Kabul in five hours!”

“Everybody I know, all the civil society persons, governing administration ministers, deputy ministers just feel dropped. They are hiding or ready,” he claimed.

Taliban fighters ride on a police car or truck in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 16, 2021. REUTERS/Stringer

The victorious insurgents have promised not to carry out retribution versus former authorities staff and a Taliban chief said his fighters had been “purchased to allow Afghans to resume each day functions and do practically nothing to scare civilians.”

“Standard lifestyle will continue in a much better way, that is all I can say for now,” he instructed Reuters by way of Whatsapp.

But presently a lot of people today were altering to the new reality, expecting a return to the customs of the former time period of Taliban rule among 1996-2001, when guys had been not permitted to trim their beards and women had been needed to have on the all-enveloping burqa cloak in general public.

“My very first worry was to develop my beard and how to grow it quick,” Hakim reported. “I also checked with my wife if there ended up adequate burqas for her and the ladies.”

In the city’s Hen Avenue, beloved of Western hippy travellers in the 1970s, the scores of retailers marketing carpets, handicrafts and jewellery, as perfectly as compact cafes, have been closed.

Sherzad Karim Stanekzai, who owns a carpet and textiles retailer, said he resolved to slumber within his shuttered store to shield his merchandise.

“I am in a complete point out of shock. The Taliban moving into that worried me, but (President Ashraf) Ghani leaving all of us in this scenario has been the worst,” he reported.

“I missing 3 brothers in 7 years in this war, now I have to guard my business enterprise.”

He said had no idea exactly where his up coming prospects would occur from. “I know there will be no foreigners, no international people today who will now come to Kabul.”

Reporting by Kabul bureau, Rupam Nair and James Mackenzie Composing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and James Mackenzie Enhancing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Jane Merriman

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Rely on Concepts.