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Taliban tax collectors help tighten insurgents’ grip in Afghanistan

‘Given the strictness of Taliban regarding implementation of their rules and regulations, I think they raise more from tax collection than the Afghan government,’ said one resident from an area largely under Taliban control. ‘They have proper tax collection and people cannot disobey them in areas they control.’ “According to data from the NATO-led Resolute Support mission published last week, the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has control or influence over 65 percent of the population but only 55.5 percent of Afghanistan’s 407 districts, less than at any time since the Taliban was driven from power in 2001. The Taliban says it controls 70 percent of the country. As the insurgents have won ground, levies on land and day-to-day economic activities have added to funds raised from illegal mining and the drug trade, allowing the Taliban to bolster its credentials as a government-in-waiting. ‘The Taliban have the power to just easily extort however much they want but that’s not quite what they do. They try to look and behave like a state,’ said Ashley Jackson, author of ‘Life Under the Taliban Shadow Government’, a study published this year by the British-based Overseas Development Institute.”

Source: Taliban tax collectors help tighten insurgents’ grip in Afghanistan | Reuters

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