Life Under the Taliban Shadow Government

Based on first-hand interviews with more than 160 Taliban fighters and officials, as well as civilians, this paper examines how the Taliban govern the lives of Afghans living under their rule. Taliban governance is more coherent than ever before; high-level commissions govern sectors such as finance, health, education, justice and taxation, with clear chains of command and policies from the leadership based in Pakistan down to villages in Afghanistan. 

Where the government and aid agencies provide public goods and services, the Taliban coopt and control them. Health and education in Taliban areas are a hybrid of NGO and state-provided services, operating according to Taliban rules. The Taliban also regulate utilities and communications, collecting on the bills of the state electricity company in at least eight of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces and controlling around a quarter of the country’s mobile phone coverage.

Justice provision has also become increasingly far-reaching. Taliban taxes either coopt Islamic finance concepts or mimic official state systems.

For full access to the report, Life Under the Taliban Shadow Government, please follow the link. 

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