Local leaders threaten to strip Taliban of power in Takhar amidst nationwide degradation in security
In northeastern Afghanistan's Takhar Province, local leaders have convened to present the Taliban an ultimatum: if they cannot guarantee community safety, then local militias will do the job for them and forcibly replace their fighters in Takhar. The climactic incident that triggered this declaration was the brazen theft of 150,000 Afghanis from a money exchange in Khwaja Ghar District. While 150,000 Afghanis (1,700 USD) may not be much in some parts of the world, it is an amount that can mean life or death for an entire family in a country where GDP per capita is $570. The Taliban, despite being an armed group that unhesitatingly uses force to police the movements of women in public, were either unable or indifferent to stopping the perpetrators.
While the money exchange robbery was what precipitated the meeting, it is the culmination of many events that have occurred in Takhar against the backdrop of a nationwide degradation in domestic security. The Taliban have been unable to prevent lynch mobs from operating in Kandahar, cross-border gunfire from striking their own Pakistani allies, or internecine violence in their capital city. Ultimately, it is unfortunate but unsurprising that a group that seized power extrajudicially cannot foster respect for the rule of law.