By: Shukria Kohistani
KABUL: Citizens of Kabul and other major cities expressed concern after prices skyrocketed due to growing security threat across the country, particularly the border ports.
They say if the situation in the country’s trade and transit ports, through which food items and other essentials of the Afghan people are imported, worsens day by day, the price of food will increase, and it is even more likely that food will become in the Kabul market.
Fawad, a Kabul resident, told The Kabul Times that recent insecurity has led to the price rise in the country.
Afghanistan is a consumer country and heavily relies on foreign imports and that food items are imported from foreign countries, especially the neighbor countries, the man – the breadwinner of seven lives added.
“As you can see, the Torkham border route was also blocked due to the COVID-19 and the Islam Qala and Shirkhan ports were recently closed due to security threats,” said Fawad 45 hoping the government to pressure the importers not to raise the prices.
Haroon, a food seller said that food prices have risen from 150 to 200 afghani, as commercial ports are facing heavy security threat.
According to Haroon, the price of Kazakh flour in each 50 kg bag has risen to 1750 afghanis from its earlier 1,600 and the same, a piece of cooking oil was 1750 Afghani and now it is 1950 Afghani and a barrel of rice was 2,400 afghanis, which is now sold in 2600 afghani in the Kabul markets.
If the situation was going the same, it is likely that there will be less food in the Kabul market and the price will go higher than it is now.
Meanwhile, the Afghan Interior Ministry said that the country’s security forces were still deployed at all important border ports and that only the port of Shirkhan was under threat from the Taliban.
This is while, the Taliban militants claimed control of most of the country’s major northern and western ports.
With the rapid advance of the Taliban in the northern and western regions of Afghanistan, the situation of important border ports has also worsened.
The Interior Ministry said security at all major border ports had been secured and only the port of Shirkhan in Kunduz province was under Taliban threat.
“Only the Shirkhan Port was under threat, our security forces are present in all areas and ports and the Taliban have created some threats, but these threats are not stable. Our security and defense forces are there,” said the ministry’s spokesman Tariq Arian.
The government’s economy and revenue depend mostly on important ports such as Islam Qala and Turghandi in Herat, Hairatan in Balkh and Shirkhan in Kunduz provinces, while several small ports such as Aykhanum in Takhar, Aqina in Faryab, and Abu Nasr Farahi in Farah provinces also play an important role in the country’s economic growth, as these ports connect Afghanistan with Central Asian countries and the neighboring Iran.
Economic experts and the people believe that the Taliban’s seizure of important commercial ports in the country, including these ports, has a negative impact on the country’s economic situation and could be to the detriment of the government and in favor of the Taliban.