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Thursday, May 19, 2022

The former Afghan finance minister is an Uber driver in Washington

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From welfare to snack hunting, behind the wheel of a car, as an Uber driver, this is the case of former Afghan Finance Minister Khaled Payand.

After overseeing the US-backed government’s $6 billion budget, the 40-year-old can now earn no more than $150 for six hours of work, according to The Washington Post.

The newspaper sheds light on Baynda’s new life after the Afghan government fell to the Taliban movement last August, as her work represents an important source of income to support her family after she exhausted all her savings.

Afghan minister, Uber driver feels alienated

The former minister indicated that he is caught between his old life and his dreams for Afghanistan, and his new life in the United States, which he says he never wanted, explaining: “I have no place right now, I don’t belong here. , not even there, it is a tremendous feeling of emptiness”.

Afghanistan faces a humanitarian and economic crisis, where assets have been frozen and cut off from international aid, requiring recognition of the Taliban government that replaced the regime the US backed for years.

The Washington Post describes Binda’s journey from moving in late 2020, after his mother died of Covid-19 in a poor Kabul hospital, to becoming finance minister.

The newspaper said Binda now wishes she hadn’t taken the job.

“I saw a lot of ugliness and we failed. I was part of the failure. It’s hard to see people’s misery and feel responsible,” he added.

Bainda blames the country’s failure on Afghans, saying, “We didn’t have the collective will to reform.” He also blamed the Americans for “handing the country over to the Taliban and betraying the fixed values ​​that were supposedly behind their war.” in Kabul.”

“Maybe there were good intentions at the beginning, but the US probably didn’t mean that,” Binda said.

Minister resigns and goes to Uber driver

Binda resigned as finance minister a week before the Taliban took control of Kabul as his relationship with President Ashraf Ghani deteriorated. Fearing arrest, he went to the United States, where he was reunited with his family.

Although Baynda did not believe that the government was about to fall, he felt that he had lost the trust of the president, so he quickly boarded a plane for the United States, where his wife and children, who had left a week earlier, were waiting for him. he.

On August 15, 2021, the day the Afghan government collapsed, Payand woke up around 2 p.m. in charge of the country. .

“We had 20 years and the whole world supported us to build a system that worked for the people,” Payanda told the Washington Post in a text message to a World Bank official in Kabul the day the capital fell.

The Afghan minister concludes the experience of the government, of which he was a part, saying: “Everything we built was a house of cards, which collapsed so quickly. A house of cards was built on the basis of corruption.”

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