Afghanistan's Taliban govt reveals plans for abandoned US military bases | Mint
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Business News/ News / World/  Afghanistan's Taliban govt reveals plans for abandoned US military bases
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Afghanistan's Taliban govt reveals plans for abandoned US military bases

The administration will soon turn US military bases (and that of other nations) into special economic zones for businesses.

Newly recruited personnel joining Taliban security forces demonstrate their skills during their graduation ceremony in Herat on February 9, 2023. (Photo by Mohsen KARIMI / AFP) (AFP)Premium
Newly recruited personnel joining Taliban security forces demonstrate their skills during their graduation ceremony in Herat on February 9, 2023. (Photo by Mohsen KARIMI / AFP) (AFP)

A year-and-a-half after taking over the reigns of the Afghanistan government, the Taliban has finally revealed plans for revamping foreign military bases. There are hundreds of foreign bases in the country and earlier reports had suggested that the Taliban ‘protected’ these areas for over a year before the US exit.

The administration will soon turn US military bases (and that of other nations) into special economic zones for businesses. According to a Reuters report, the pilot plan would start by converting bases in the capital city of Kabul and in the northern Balkh province.

"Following a thorough discussion, it was decided that the Ministry of Industry and Commerce should progressively take control of the remaining military bases of the foreign forces with the intention of converting them into special economic zones," Mullah Baradar was quoted as saying in the statement.

Also read: Taliban publicly lashes 11 including 2 women in Afghanistan's Badakhshan

While the number has varied over the decades, there are hundreds of bases of varying sizes in Afghanistan. A 2010 CBS News article suggests that there were approximately 700 bases of every size dotting the Afghan countryside at one point of time. The article also cited a US official to say that there there were nearly 400 US and coalition bases in the country including camps, forward operating bases and combat outposts at this time.

While many fell out of use in the coming years, Western troops had abandoned numerous fully functioning bases in the country during the 2021 exit. At the time, a Reuters report suggested that Taliban fighters had protected western military bases in Afghanistan from attacks by rival, or rogue Islamist groups for over a year under a secret annex to a pact for the withdrawal of all US forces by May 1.

Visuals emerging after the change of government in the warn-torn country showed that US troops had also left behind 73 aircrafts, nearly 100 vehicles and other equipment. Officials had said at the time that the equipment was rendered useless before being abandoned.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Published: 19 Feb 2023, 10:53 PM IST
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