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Ex- Afghan Finance Minister now drives an Uber Cab in US for living


Washington: Former finance minister of Afghanistan Khalid Payenda, who once presented a $6 billion budget in Kabul, is now driving an Uber in Washington DC to support his family, a report by The Washington Post said. Payenda had fled Afghanistan right before the Taliban took over the country last year. Giving an interview to The Washington Post, Payenda said that he earns ‘a little over 150 dollars for six hours’ work, not counting his commute’.

The father of four, who has joined the gig economy, said the work had made a huge difference in his life: ‘I feel incredibly grateful for it. It means I don’t have to be desperate’. Payenda also co-teaches a course at Georgetown University, and occasionally speaks at think-tanks. He told The Washington Post that he holds the Americans responsible for the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. After two decades of conflict, the United States withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021.

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Months before the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan, former President Donald Trump’s government signed a conditional peace deal with the militant group in February 2020, vowing to pull out the US troops over 14 months. The agreement notably did not include the Aghan government. Senior US officials have mostly moved on from the Afghanistan war, which started 20 years earlier with high-minded promises of democracy, human rights and women’s rights and concluded with an American president accusing Afghans, such as a Payenda, for the mess that was left behind.

As Payenda’s relationship with Ghani deteriorated, he resigned as the finance minister a week before the Taliban captured Kabul. He tweeted back on August 10 saying- ‘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’. He left Afghanistan due to his fear of being arrested by the government and joined his family in the United States of America.


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