Rupert Stone is an Istanbul-based freelance journalist working on South Asia and the Middle East.
With the Taliban yet to convince Tehran and Moscow it is a reliable ally, groups like the National Resistance Front remain politically relevant.
The Taliban vowed to ban drugs, but the trade appears to be booming under their rule.
Narco-traffickers defied Covid-19 and now look set to reach new heights, as the stars are aligning for a further expansion of their trade.
While the Taliban insisted they would ban narcotic production, major seizures in the region indicate the trade hasn’t missed a beat.
Authorities warn that Afghan meth could penetrate the European market due to its low price and the availability of pre-existing trafficking routes used to smuggle heroin.
Experts tell TRT World that Beijing will adopt a careful approach to economic engagement with Afghanistan.
Beijing’s preeminent concern is unrest in neighbouring Afghanistan could have a detrimental impact on its economic interests in the region.
In addition to more widespread availability and higher purity, the pandemic has pushed the narcotics trade to become more creative in its distribution.
A large meth industry has rapidly emerged that could eventually rival the country’s massive opium trade, adding yet another dimension to Afghanistan’s spiralling drug crisis.
The Afghan Taliban's relationship with the Tehreek e Taliban Pakistan could come to an impasse as the peace process matures in Afghanistan.
The Covid-19 pandemic has ravaged economies globally, but Pakistan has been on the receiving end of a boom that could continue until the end of this year.
The reported deal between the two countries has been overstated, and its motives misunderstood.
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