A Report on Public Service in the Taliban-Controlled Areas
After seizing control of government office buildings in 29 provinces of the country, the Taliban have destroyed or set fire to 260 public service office buildings. Furthermore, the equipment and amenities of government office buildings in 149 districts of the country have also been looted.
The findings of the Independent Administrative Reform and Civil Service Commission (IARCSC) show that in districts recently seized by the Taliban, provision of essential government services have been halted, and a large number of civil servants have been harmed or displaced from their areas to provincial capitals.
There are more than 13 million people living in territory and districts recently captured by the Taliban, who currently have no access to public services. In these areas, hundreds of development projects such as reconstruction of water supply networks, roads, retaining walls, construction of schools, bridges, hospitals, stadiums, cold storage facilities, drilling wells, etc., have been shut down. For instance, in the Taliban-controlled districts of Takhar province alone, 112 ongoing development projects have now been completely stopped.
As the Taliban took control of the districts, more than 50,000 civil servants are unable to perform their duties and live in an uncertain situation. Nearly 4,000 of which have either been harmed or displaced from their areas to provincial capitals due to bad security situation and threats. Also, in some districts, there have been reports on few cases of captivity, threatening and beating of civil servants by the Taliban. A civil servant who is a resident of Siagerd district of Parwan province says: “since the Taliban took control of the district on June 26, I have been sitting at home and living through an uncertain situation”. Three civil servants have gone missing in a Taliban-controlled district in Uruzgan province. Two civil servants in Nuristan province and one civil servant in Laghman province have been beaten by the Taliban. A civil servant has been held captive by the Taliban in Lash Wa Juwayn district of Farah province. There have also been reports of harassment of retired civil servants in Taliban-held districts in Paktia province.
As many as 260 office buildings of public service institutions in 106 Taliban- held districts have been either completely or partly been destroyed by fire, IED, VBIED and shelling. Among a number of district public service office buildings and many other buildings which have been completely destroyed are the office building of Nerkh and Chak district in Maidan Wardak province, in Chakhansor district of Nimruz province, Balkh district in Balkh province, Lash Wa Juwayn district in Farah province, Firuz Nakhchir in Samangan province, Gizab district in Uruzgan province, Du Ab and Mandol district in Nuristan province and the office building of Tala Wa Barfak district of Baghlan province.
In districts captured by the Taliban, most of the equipment in office buildings of public service institutions have been looted, which included computers, desks, chairs, cabinets, generators, solar panels, batteries, fans, carpets, water storage tanks, etc. As reported in 82 districts the percentage of looting was 100%, in 18 districts from 70 to 90%, in 14 districts from 50 to 60% and 50% in another 35 districts.
In the districts captured by the Taliban, the residents have only access to education and health services, which are subject to restrictions and constraints. Based on the reports, in the first week of the Taliban’s control over Siagerd district in Parwan province, residents transported their sick to Charikar, Panjshir or in Kabul hospitals. A resident of Shinwari district in Parwan province said that due to district hospitals’ inactivity, he had to take his wife, who needed to see a gynecologist to Charikar hospital with great difficulty.
In a small number of Taliban-held districts, female employees working in the health sector have been allowed to work, only on the condition of wearing hijab and having a male companion (mahram). For example, in the Taliban-held districts of Paktia province, only women working in maternity wards have been allowed to continue their work, only on the condition of wearing hijab and having a male companion (mahram) with them while commuting to and from work.