Kabul flag store that began in Soviet period retools but once more

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A small flag store, tucked away within the courtyard of a Kabul market, has documented Afghanistan’s turbulent historical past over the many years with its ever-changing merchandise.

Now the store is stuffed with white Taliban flags, emblazoned with the Quran’s Muslim assertion of religion, in black Arabic lettering.

On Sunday, 4 teen-age boys leaned over white cloth draped on a desk illuminated by fluorescent lights and crammed the template for the Quranic verse with black ink. Completed flags had been hung over a balcony railing to dry.

The proprietor, Wahidullah Honarwer, 58, stated that earlier than President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation on Aug. 15, because the Taliban had been poised to take the capital of Kabul, he produced flags from all nations that had diplomatic relations with Afghanistan.

Honarwer nonetheless has these flags in inventory.

“The Taliban came to visit and noticed all these flags and stated nothing to us,” he stated, sitting behind a pc in his store. He stated the Taliban instructed him to hold on to these flags till the scenario stabilizes.

Honarwer stated he is been within the flag enterprise for nearly 4 many years, at a time when a Soviet-backed authorities was in energy within the Nineteen Eighties. The Soviets withdrew in 1989 and their communist allies in 1992, adopted by the rule of warlords and civil conflict.

The Taliban dominated from 1996-2001, when a U.S.-led invasion expelled the Islamic militants. The Taliban retook management as U.S. and NATO forces withdrew from Afghanistan by the top of August.

Honarwer says he spent 27 years in exile in Pakistan, however that he’ll now keep in Afghanistan, irrespective of who’s in cost. It was not instantly clear if the flag store was open all through.

“I like Afghanistan and I need to dwell right here,” he stated. “No matter regime comes, my enterprise is on and can proceed.”

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