GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): The Taliban-Kandahar Highway in southern Ghazni province, where they search vehicles and collect tax, drivers and passengers said on Monday.
Samiullah, a driver, told Pajhwok Afghan News the rebels had established 50 checkpoints on the road between Ghazni and Kandahar.
“The Taliban stop vehicles at these check-points and hand over tariff receipts to some truckers,” he claimed.
In the past, the driver recalled, the Taliban had established checkpoints as part of against the security personnel. But the militants manning the checkpoints are now collect taxes.
The duty varies from vehicle to vehicle, according to Samiullah, who said the insurgents charged a container loaded with one-key cars 1,000 afghanis.
Another driver, Naqibullah, said the Taliban provided truckers and other drivers with tax receipts. The slips were well-designed and had serial numbers.
Rahimullah, traveling the Kabul-Kandahar highway, confirmed the Taliban had established checkpoints and searched common people.
“They don’t take money from every vehicle but search people and their belongings, including mobile phone sets,” he said.
Abdullah, a resident of the Moshki locality of Qarabgh district, said a Taliban checkpoint had been created in their area two years ago.
“The Taliban always stand here, collecting money from vehicles. Moshki locality is close to the Qarabagh district centre.”
Pajhwok has also obtained a copy of Taliban’s customs duty register. “Afghanistan Islamic Emirate Department of Borders” is written at the top of the paper.
The slips also have the telephone number and name of the driver, the amount of money paid and number and name of the tax collector.
Written at the bottom of the slip is: In case of any issue, contact the number above.”
Wahidullah Jumazada, the governor’s spokesman, acknowledged the Taliban came out on the Kabul-Kandahar highway and taxed vehicles.
“They (Taliban) also issue drivers with tax receipts and passenger searches put people in trouble,” he said, promising steps would be taken to ensure highway security.
The Taliban confirmed the issue. Zabihullah Mujahid, the group’s spokesman, said the fighters had established checkpoints on the highway. He explained the militants collected tax only from cargo trucks.