Business Community Skeptical as Taliban Pledges Security

Business community and economic analysts have shown mixed reactions to a recent tweet by Taliban member Suhail Shaheen in which he said the group will protect Afghan businesses and all other economic activities in the future government in the country.

Afghan politicians, businesspeople and investors have said that such statements by the Taliban leaders are symbolic—and insist the group proves them in action.

“The Islamic Emirate assures trader and investors that not only their lives, wealth and honor are protected but necessary opportunities are provided for their work and activities,” tweeted Suhail Shaheen, quoting a message by group’s leader Hibatullah Akhundzada.

“The Islamic Emirate needs expertise of scholars, intellectuals, political and national figures in sustaining and boosting of future government,” said the message.

There is the possibility that we will remain safe and there are restrictions in the future,” said political analyst Faizullah Jalal.

Mumtaz Yousufzai is an Afghan businesswoman who has worked outside the home for eleven years. She still remembers the Taliban era and does not believe that the Taliban will value the employment of women.

“If they (Taliban) stop the activities of women, are they able then to pay the expenses of a family?” asked Mumtaz Yousufzai, a businesswoman.

“The people have strong concerns about the return of the Taliban following their previous experiences from them,” said Khan Jan Alokozai, the deputy head of the Chambers Federation of Afghanistan.

This comes as a UN-led peace conference on Afghanistan is expected to be held in Turkey in the near future. The Taliban, however, has not clarified its final position on the summit.

Afghans hope that the Taliban will return to talks and respect the gains the country has made in the past 20 years.