Afghanistan’s Former Finance Minister Drives Uber In The US

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Khalid Payenda, former Finance Minister of Afghanistan, who had once overseen in Kabul a 6 billion dollar budget is now driving an Uber car in Washington DC for supporting his family. 

He spoke to The Washington Post and said he earns “a little over 150 dollars for six hours’ work” which does not take into account his commute.

Currently suffering from a massive financial and humanitarian crisis in its struggle to recognize the Taliban government that overthrew the US backed regime, the situation in Afghanistan has gone worse for the ones who stayed back.

A week before the Taliban took control of the country in August 2021, Payenda had also resigned as the Finance Minister owing to the straining relations with Prime Minister Ashraf Ghani. 

Back on August 10, he had tweeted:

“Today I stepped down as the Acting Minister of Finance. Leading MoF was the greatest honor of my life but it was time to step down to attend to personal priorities.” 

Soon after, he had left Afghanistan for his fears of being arrested by the government and has since then been living with his family in the United States of America.

In his interview with The Washington Post, Payenda said moving from his home had been “quite an adjustment”, but he is grateful that he was able to support his family in any way he could. He added that he blames the United States of America for Afghanistan’s current situation since the withdrawal of troops was the reason the Taliban took over.

In a text message to a World Bank Official in Kabul on the day the capital city was taken over by the Taliban, Payenda wrote:

 “We had 20 years and the whole world’s support to build a system that would work for the people…All we built was a house of cards that came down crashing this fast. A house of cards built on the foundation of corruption.

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