street vendors in Takhar
Photo: Etilaatroz/KabulNow

Taliban shuts down street vendors in Takhar days after collecting monthly fees

The Taliban municipal authority in Afghanistan’s northeastern province of Takhar has ordered hundreds of street vendors to close down, days after collecting their permit fees.

Abdullah, a vegetable seller in the city of Taqolan, Takhar’s capital, told KabulNow that the group’s municipal authorities collected their monthly permit fees from him and others in the city a few days ago. “They have now told us to remove our carts without any notice, and without assigning a designated area in the city for us,” he said. “We have paid 800 AFN (approximately $9) per month, without receiving any services,” Abdullah complained.

Jan Mohammad, another vendor in the city, told KabulNow that “the Taliban must win the hearts of the poor if they want their rule to last. Living conditions are very harsh, especially now in this cold weather. I rely on my cart to provide for my family of 10.”

A Taliban municipality official in Taloqan confirmed the closure order to KabulNow, which affects more than 350 vendors. “We have been instructed to bring order to the city. Removing vendors from the streets is a part of that,” he said.