Rising extortion along some of Afghanistan’s major highways by the Taliban and government forces have caused great concern for drivers – which is why they demand the Afghan government to take serious action and improve transportation security.
As the Taliban are expanding their domain of operation across Afghanistan, they have started disturbing ordinary people’s lives in one way or the other. According to reports, the Taliban take ransom money from drivers along the Kandahar-Kabul, Kandahar-Herat and Kabul-Torkham highways.
Alim, a truck driver who travels the Kabul-Kandahar highway, said, “The Taliban have established checkpoints in certain locations, particularly in Muqur region and they collect money from us.”
“It is not only the Taliban who harass us, but the local police also harass us,” said Mohibullah, who drives the Kabul-Kandahar highway.
Due to insurgent groups’ active operation over the past couple of years, the highway connecting Kabul to the northern parts of Afghanistan has also become insecure, “The Taliban collect Afs. 30,000 per truck, dozes of which come from Aqina, Hairatan, and Sher Khan port daily,” said MPAbdullah Qarloq.
Experts say that the security of highways plays a vital role in the economic development of Afghanistan. Thus, the government needs to come up with practical strategies to make these routes safe and enhance better transportation of commercial goods across the country.
Therefore, to ensure highway security, there is a need for checkpoints to regularly oversee the highways and help truck drivers to transfer goods from one point to the next rather smoothly.