KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 — After achieving their goal to take control of Afghanistan in 2021, the Taliban have been faced with the reality of actually running it.

Men who once rode horses armed with machine guns now spend their time behind computers working office hours in the city, some allegedly addicted to social media.

Five former Taliban members, aged between 25 to 32, shared their struggle to adapt to a new way of life in a recent interview with non-profit research agency the Afghanistan Analytics Network.

“I sometimes miss the jihad life for all the good things it had,” said 25-year-old clerk Abdul Nafi.


“In our ministry, there’s little work for me to do. Therefore, I spend most of my time on Twitter... Many mujahedin (guerilla fighters), including me, are addicted to the Internet, especially Twitter.”

Many of the former fighters find that they have lost their freedom and now ‘shackled’ by high living costs and nine-to-five working hours.

All of them have also been working away from their family provinces, moving into Kabul for civilian and security work.


“The rent of houses is very high for us since our salary is no more than 15,000 afghanis (RM773),” former jihadist Omar Mansur said.

“It is fully sufficient for Yahyakhel but not for Kabul. As soon as, God willing, I have a good salary, I will bring my family here.”

With capitalism taking control of their lives, the former members realised how replaceable they are in the workforce unlike the days of war where they once found belonging.

“We used to live among the people. Many of us have now caged ourselves in our offices and palaces, abandoning that simple life,” an office worker named Kamran said.

“The real test and challenge was not during the jihad. Rather, it’s now...We are tested by cars, positions, wealth and women.”

“Many of our mujahedin, God forbid, have fallen into these seemingly sweet, but actually bitter traps.”