Analysts predict that the fall of Zaranj city on the border with Iran will deprive the Afghan government from $175 million in revenue a year.
With the fall of Zaranj, the Taliban is now controlling at least 10 border towns, including Islam Qala and Torghundi in Herat, Abu Nasr-e-Farahi in Farah, Spin Boldak in Kandahar, Sher Khan in Kunudz, Dand-e-Pathan in Paktia, Ai Khanum in Takhar and Ishkashim crossing point in the northeastern province of Badakhshan.
“Main reasons are linked to government's failures, incompetency and corruption. They handed over a province like a district,” said Baz Mohammad Naser, head of Nimroz provincial council.
“Here, the people are screaming, but the border is closed,” said Mohammad Asfar, a resident of Nimroz.
The Afghan government is now controlling few border towns, including Aqian in Faryab, Hairatan in Balkh, Angor Ada in Paktika, Ghulam Khan in Khost and Torkham crossing in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
The fall of Zaranj has also raised deep concerns over a surge in the smuggling of fuel to Afghanistan.
Nimroz besides enjoying bordres with Iran and Pakistan is also the monitoring point of the Helmand river from where the water flows to Afghanistan’s newly built Kamal Khan and Salma dams in Herat.
“Other ports that we had in the west are now out of the government control. I think this will create a major problem for the central government,” said MP Farishta Amini.
“The Afghan businessmen are facing the great loss due to the current situation in Nimroz,” said Massoud Forogh, former head of fuel department in the north zone.
The Taliban’s control in Spin Boldak has left hundreds of convoys and passengers stranded along the Durand Line.
On Friday, the Taliban closed Spin Boldak crossing for a while, saying the Pakistani government is implementing a transportation mechanism that it has signed with the Afghan government, not with them.
Zaranj is the first provincial capital that has fallen to the Taliban. The Taliban also took the control of Sheberghan city on Saturday.