Twenty years later, the Allied forces leave Afghanistan. Americans should withdraw from the country by September.
Experts and many locals alike fear the radical Taliban’s takeover of the country. It has occupied several provinces in recent weeks, including the main border crossings in the west of the country over the weekend and is approaching Kabul.
The Slovak traveler and tour guide MARTIN NAVRÁTIL may be one of the last foreigners to obtain tourist visas to the country. He arrived from Afghanistan last weekend, and, according to him, soon the territory of the state will be completely closed. “A lot of the locals feel betrayed by the Americans,” he says.
Afghanistan is not a popular or safe country for travelers. Why did you decide to travel there now, as the local situation is starting to deteriorate and the Taliban are occupying more and more provinces?
I wanted to see for myself the current situation there. I’ve been to Afghanistan three times already, and I have a warm relationship with it, so I wanted to see what it looks like in the field and how my acquaintances see the departure of US forces and the growth of the Taliban. Many things have changed since my last visits from 2013 to 2015.
Martin Navratil (1980)
- He has been traveling around the world for 17 years, during which he visited more than 175 countries on all continents of the world.
- He worked as a tour guide for nearly 14 years, managing the travel portal Travelistan.sk,
- He is a trained historian.
How was Afghanistan in your last visits and how has the situation changed?
During the first visits, Afghanistan was much safer, although still an unsafe country. However, it was also possible to travel to the countryside or to Kandahar, and not many armored military vehicles were seen in the cities. There was a much more relaxed atmosphere, many women did not wear a burqa than they are today. Although the Taliban were already gaining strength in the countryside, they were considered a defeated organization and were not the subject of daily debate.
How is she today?
It is changing. The Taliban is still talked about today, and the younger generation in particular fears that they will not be able to continue their way of life.
It does not apply to travel, the Afghans have restricted it even today. However, they risk not being able to exercise, have fun, listen to music or dance – exactly what the Taliban have banned in the past. The demand for the burqa increased because no one knew how it would turn out.
The security situation has deteriorated significantly. People are preparing for the Taliban to come when the Allied forces leave. The Taliban says it will never be the same between 1996 and 2001. However, wherever it goes, it has introduced exactly the same rules as in the past, although it does not do so in a primitive way.
How does it feel to travel around Afghanistan? How is there a different movement compared to normal countries?
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