Taliban reinaugurates Herat-Ghor Highway in west of Afghanistan

HERAT, Afghanistan — The Taliban’s deputy chief minister, Abdul Ghani Baradar, on Monday inaugurated the Herat-Ghor highway in the west of the country.

The 380-kilometer-long highway was previously inaugurated by the head of the Taliban’s public works department in Herat in July 2023.

Baradar’s office said in a statement that three factories, including Etook Pharma and Afghan Medicine, both pharmaceutical companies, and Shams Cola, a producer of non-alcoholic beverages, were also inaugurated during this trip.

According to the statement, Baradar urged domestic investors to maintain high quality standards in their products and emphasized the Taliban’s commitment to prioritizing local goods in government procurement.

The statement noted that Etook Pharma will invest $10 million to produce 50 tablet variants, and Afghan Medicine will invest $16 million to manufacture various types of medicine. However, the investment details for the Shams Cola factory were not disclosed.

This development comes as many Afghan traders and investors have repeatedly expressed concerns about high taxes imposed by the Taliban and restrictions on money transfers stemming from international sanctions on the group.