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They also believe in two massive gas pipelines that will, if they ever do get completed, bring substantial revenue to Afghanistan.
One of those pipelines would go from Iran to ultimately China, via Pakistan. The other would go from the north to a southern sea port and anywhere in the rest of the world...like Europe for example.
So who gains geostrategic advantage if they get completed vs who loses it? Are those who gain paying for the infrastrtuctural improvements to build it? Will they get compensated somehow upon its completion? And would Afghanis simply go back to producing drugs to finance it if everyone else walks away?
They have a significant opportunity right now and the Taliban know it. Afghanistan is a loosely organized country of clans though and most of its trained governmental leadership (trained in the sense that the US and its allies backed them long enough for them to figure out new, "inventive", ways of statecraft) was corrupt as all get out. So the Taliban leadership has to essentially do the equivalent of herding cats all the while other Islamic fundamentalist groups (some state funded and backed and being pushed to attack them to weaken their bargaining position regarding the say over who get the gas and how much they make from the selling of it...ie it is a money maker for a number of regional intel agencies who are using fundamentalists as foot soldiers to further their agendas) are attacking them openly and behind the scenes.
And somehow they find the time to both behead people and ask for development funding.
Iran in particular (as well as Pakistan to a lesser extent) is playing them for fools and helping coach them on what to ask for from the international community. And people are, rightfully confused by the juxtaposition of a bunch of backwater nutjobs having the skill to do both.
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