Drivers Outraged Over Extortion on Highways

Drivers Outraged Over Extortion on Highways

Jan 18, 2020

Kabul (Afghanistan) Jan 18: Drivers on some of Afghanistan's major roads on Friday raised deep concerns over what they described as 'rising extortion' by Taliban insurgents as well as government forces along the roadways, and they demanded that the Afghan government take action and secure transportation.
The majority of the complaints come from Kandahar-Kabul, Kandahar-Herat and Kabul-Torkham highways.
"The Taliban have established a checkpoint in Muqur region and they collect money from us," said Alim, a driver who travels the Kabul-Kandahar highway.
"The police are harassing us, the local police harassing us, the Taliban are harassing us," said Mohibullah, who drives the Kabul-Kandahar highway.
The highway connecting Kabul to the northern parts of Afghanistan has also become insecure. The highway connects Kabul to Baghlan, Kunduz and Balkh provinces. Three main border crossings also exist in the north.
"The Taliban collect Afs30,000 from trucks--dozens of truckscome from Aqina, Hairatan and Sher Khan ports daily," said MP Abdullah Qarloq.
"For ensuring security of the highways, there is need for checkpoints to oversee the highways. There is a need for mobile patrolling of the distance between the two check posts, there is also a need for aerial patrolling," said military analyst Atiqullah Amarkhel.
The security of highways plays a key role in the economic development of Afghanistan. Experts say that the government should come up with more coherent strategies to make these routes safe.
"Ten of the personnel who were involved in extortion from our countrymen have been arrested by the crime investigation department and we are trying to overcome all the challenges," said Nusrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.
At the same, the major highways are dangerous for government servants and members of the Afghan security forces.
Source: TOLO News