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Afghan Economy, Humanitarian Crisis Baffle Taliban

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LAHOR MIRROR (Monitoring Desk) Afghanistan’s new Taliban rulers struggled to keep the country functioning on Wednesday after the final withdrawal of U.S. forces, with foreign donors alarmed about an impending humanitarian crisis.

Two weeks since the Taliban’s sweep into the capital Kabul brought a chaotic end to 20 years of warfare, the Islamist militants have yet to name a new government or reveal how they intend to rule.

In an administrative vacuum, prices have soared and crowds have gathered at banks to withdraw cash.

Heavily-armed fighters have imposed control on Kabul, but Taliban officials were grappling with keeping hospitals and government machinery running following the end of a huge airlift of foreigners and Afghans who had helped Western forces.

The new, Taliban-appointed central bank head has sought to reassure banks the group wants a fully-functioning financial system, but has so far given little detail on how it will supply funds for it, bankers familiar with the matter said.

Qatar’s Al Jazeera television reported that Qatari technical experts had arrived at the Taliban’s request to discuss resuming operations at Kabul airport, currently inoperable.

The foreign minister of neighbouring Pakistan, which has close ties to the Taliban, said he expected Afghanistan to have a new “consensus government” within days.

SOURCE: REUTERS