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Afghans fear they will be abandoned by the United States once again. Most don't want the Taliban to return, so they are determined to protect themselves.
And there are plenty of weapons; arms left over from the war against the Soviets, guns smuggled over the porous border with Pakistan and those sold by former mujahideen commanders.
Russian or Pakistani-made AK-47 assault rifles are the biggest sellers, followed by light machineguns. In some areas, the militias go for rocket-propelled grenades.
The government was deeply embarrassed when Energy and Water Minister Ismail Khan, an influential former warlord, recently called on militias to rearm to protect Afghanistan after 2014.
General Mohammed Najib Aman, a deputy of the anti-terrorism department at the Interior Ministry, denies the illegal gun trade is flourishing.
Former mujahideen commanders in particular are cashing-in on the insecurity, using their wartime connections to acquire handguns and rifles and sell at inflated prices.
Islamuddin laid down his weapons after the Taliban was ousted in 2001, and became a used car salesman. These days that's a front for his real money-making business.
He now sells light machine guns for 150,000 Afghanis ($2,900), double the value a year ago, and AK-47s for 60,000 Afghanis ($1,150), triple that of last year.
"People are worried, so they're buying guns now because they might not be able to buy one when they most need it," he said sitting in a hotel restaurant.
Guns in Afghanistan
The government is encouraging people to seek licenses for weapons so the authorities can track guns. Aman estimates between 30,000 and 40,000 gun licenses have been issued.
The Taliban are supposedly no longer in power
Originally posted by sk0rpi0n
From what I have read.... the Taliban are out of "power".... but still control most of Afghanistan. So much so that they actually collect taxes from certain areas.
Kabul is probably safe (relatively) but the Taliban have demonstrated that they can make their presence felt any time they want to. Then we have reports of Taliban infiltration into the Afghan national army... I guess all an infiltrator has to do is trim his long beard and sign up.