Afghanistan: August 28, 2002

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 The central government is slowly improving security in the capital, mainly through the hiring and training of more police. Out in the countryside, the government is making more deals with warlords and tribal chiefs to rein in banditry and more formal extortion and theft. Corruption is a major problem, as few government or tribal officials see anything wrong with asking for a "gift" in order to get things done. 

Although many Afghan refugees are returning home, others are crossing into Pakistan. Smugglers will lead the way, for about $300 per person. Normally, the smugglers move consumer goods, drugs, weapons or al Qaeda members across the border. Al Qaeda and the Taliban have been moving some of their weapons across the border into Pakistan.

 

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