Afghanistan’s last finance minister now drives Uber in US
The former finance minister of Afghanistan Khalid Payenda is now driving an Uber cab in Washington (US) to support his family.
Payenda, who resigned from his post days before the Taliban took over Kabul, also works as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, according to a report in The Washington Post.
In his interview with The Washington Post, he said moving had been “quite an adjustment”, but was grateful to be able to support his family in any way he could.
“Right now, I don’t have any place,” he said, adding that, “I don’t belong here, and I don’t belong there. It’s a very empty feeling."
He also blamed the US for Afghanistan's current situation, as the withdrawal of troops had allowed the Taliban to take over. He highlighted that the US betrayed its commitment to democracy and human rights after making Afghanistan a centerpiece of post-9/11 policy.
“Maybe there were good intentions initially but the United States probably didn’t mean this,” Payenda said.
However, according to the former finance minister, nobody is above blame, not even he himself. While the US abandoned Afghans, Afghanistan did not have the collective will to reform, he said.
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.”
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. Ive put Mr. Alem Shah Ibrahimi, Deputy Minister for Revenue Customs in charge until a new Minister is appointed.— Khalid Payenda (KhalidPayenda) August 10, 2021
Taliban took over Afghanistan in August 2021, just days after the US announced the withdrawal of its troops from it. The country is currently facing a financial and humanitarian crisis.
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