According to a local Afghani media house, Taliban fighters are selling the guns of former security personnel at an arms bazaar in the Afghan province of Zabul and smuggling the majority of them into Pakistan. Pak media, a local media house, tweeted, “Commanders in the Taliban are selling the weapons of former security force members at the guns market of Zabul province. According to the information given by local sources, the largest share of these weapons is being smuggled into Pakistan by Taliban commanders”. The Taliban security forces discovered more than a dozen assault guns and ammo in the southern Kandahar province. Six AK-47s, 13 handguns, tens of thousands of rounds of ammunition, and 19 mines of rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) were among the firearms that were found, a Taliban official informed Xinhua. Mullah Abdul Ghani Haqbin, a senior police officer in Afghanistan, reported on Sunday that the security forces had detained three persons for unlawfully possessing weapons. The top police officer claimed that the Taliban-led government would make all the efforts to seize weapons from private citizens to maintain law and order in Afghanistan.
Taliban’s history of smuggling weapons
Earlier this month, In the Afghan province of Nangarhar the Taliban found another stockpile of weapons. Afghanistan’s spy service, the General Directorate of Intelligence (GDI), said that the ammunition was intended to be smuggled into Pakistan, which is next door. The findings came just a few weeks after a Canadian think tank expressed concern about the widespread smuggling of weaponry into Pakistan which could be “eventually utilised in cross-border conflicts against India.” According to International Forum for Rights and Security (IFFRAS), “Taliban has been insisting that there will be proper security checks to prevent any weapons smuggling because they are an improved Taliban, but the arms market is booming and the weapons that are being smuggled into Pakistan, which will eventually be used in cross-border fights against India.” However, the think tank had cautioned that Pakistan would pay a heavy price if separatist and terrorist groups operating from its territory were able to obtain these weapons on a mass scale.
In August 2021, the US hurriedly withdrew from Afghanistan, leaving the Afghan forces in control of most of the military hardware. The Taliban eventually took control of the war-torn nation as well as the weapons that were left behind by the US for the Afghan military force. The report claimed that Afghan gun dealers openly trade US-made weapons and military gear in stores. Weapons from abandoned Afghan army outposts were being collected by traffickers, who also buy them from Taliban fighters and Afghan government forces. The majority of these weapons were subsequently sold at arms bazaars or markets in the tribal regions along the Afghan-Pakistan border.