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 a long time 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 have been hung over a balcony railing to dry.

The proprietor, Wahidullah Honarwer, 58, mentioned that earlier than President Ashraf Ghani fled the nation on Aug. 15, because the Taliban have 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 visiting and noticed all these flags and mentioned nothing to us,” he mentioned, sitting behind a pc in his store. He mentioned the Taliban informed him to hold on to these flags till the state of affairs stabilizes.

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

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

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