While the Taliban are clearly preoccupied with the security situation inside the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as emphasized by Sunday’s bombing at a major mosque in Kabul (ironically, the former insurgents are facing an insurgency of their own led by ISIS-Khorasan, the Islamic State’s Central Asian faction), there’s an even more pressing issue currently confronting Afghanistan’s new leadership.
It’s looking increasingly likely that the Central Asian suppliers who contribute roughly half of the country’s electricity are getting ready to pull the plug, according to the guy who used to run Afghanistan’s state power authority, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat, which he quit roughly two weeks after the Taliban takeover and likely fled. He at least felt safe enough to tell WSJ that the consequences of the Taliban not making good with Afghanistan’s Central Asian power suppliers could be “really dangerous.”
“The consequences would be countrywide, but especially in Kabul. There will be blackout and it would bring Afghanistan back to the Dark Ages when it comes to power and to telecommunications,” said Mr. Noorzai, who remains in close contact with DABS’s remaining management. “This would be a really dangerous situation.”
Afghanistan lacks a national power grid, and is thus dependent on a network of suppliers in Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to supply roughly half the country’s power, while Iran supplies some in the western part of the country. Domestic production inside Afghanistan mostly relies on hydroelectric power grids, which haven’t been functioning at anywhere near full capacity due to a drought.
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