PANJWAI: The Taliban takeover has left Afghanistan in limbo, but weapons trader Khan Mohammad is capitalizing.
His business in the Panjwai area, southern Kandahar province, is teeming with new stock.
Mohammed displayed his goods, including US-made Smith & Wesson handguns and ammo belts, in camouflage battle jackets and bandoliers.
The front glass exhibit included more guns, grenades, walkie-talkies, and bullet jars.
Several gun owners have decided they no longer need their weapons after the war ended.
“People who had firearms for years bring them,” he added.
Mohammad also has a client.
“We purchase and sell to the Mujahideen,” he added.
They don’t allow anybody else has them.
Mohammad had more than simply weapons.
Ceiling-hung Taliban baseball hats with the Muslim faith declaration emblazoned on them. There were also flags for sale.
Another vendor in the dusty Panjwai bazaar offered more powerful goods, decorated with huge Taliban flags and photos of senior Taliban commanders.
They featured AK-47s, M4 and M16 assault rifles, and even light machine guns.
The Taliban bought guns and ammo on the illicit market for years. According to UN and Western observers, they also seized weapons and equipment from abandoned military positions.
The recent Afghan military defeat provided a weapons windfall for terrorists.
Afghanistan’s new overlords now have humvees, armored personnel carriers, and at least one working Black Hawk helicopter.
The militants are also maximizing their gains.
The Taliban are profiting off abandoned Afghan and Western military outposts.
They took Panjwai district in July as the US-led withdrawal from Afghanistan progressed.
From building materials to metal trays rescued from the district’s Afghan military camp, everything was for sale.
“We got them all from the Taliban when they seized the Afghan army base,” claimed seller Murtaza.
“Now we sell them.”