Mullah Baradar blames “foreigners” for mass exodus and economic problems

Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, the Taliban’s deputy prime minister for economic affairs, has accused “foreigners” of encouraging Afghan citizens to leave the country.

Speaking at the Arg Palace on after Eid al-Adha prayers, Mullah Baradar said that “foreigners are not leaving the people of Afghanistan at peace. They spread rumours that there are economic problems in Afghanistan and encourage people to leave the country.”

He blamed “the 20 year occupation” and persistent drought for Afghanistan’s economic problems.

According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, over 1.6 million people have left Afghanistan since 2021.

The collapse of Afghanistan’s economy following the Taliban’s return to power in August 2021, plunged the country into, according to the UN, the largest humanitarian crisis. The situation was further exacerbated by the group’s severe restrictions on women and girls’ rights to work and education.

Mullah Baradar, however, said that the country’s economic situation is improving.

One of the poorest countries in the world, over 28 million people in Afghanistan depend on humanitarian aid for survival, with over 6 million being on the verge of famine.