Because corrupt officials invented ‘ghost troops’ to pocket their salaries, the Taliban were able to conquer Afghanistan. The majority of their 300,000. strong army didn’t EXIST.

  • Khalid Payenda (ex-finance minister) said officials have added phantom employees
  • These included desertions and martyrs who weren’t in the army
  • He claimed that they were included to the official list so that generals could receive their salaries.
  • He stated that certain officials were willing to accept their payments and wages from the Taliban.

Afghanistan’s former Finance Minister claimed that Taliban had easily conquered Afghanistan because corrupt officials invent ‘ghost soldiers,’ then take payment from Islamist group. 

Khalid Payenda claimed that most of the 300,000.-strong police and army officers didn’t exist, and that the generals had added the phantom personnel on official lists to allow them to take their salaries.

As Taliban fighters took full control, the Afghan government crumbled. The US and its allies were also withdrawing from Afghanistan after 20 years. 

According to Mr Payenda, the exaggerated numbers include ‘desertions and’martyrs’ as commanders frequently kept bank cards and withdrew cash.

Khalid Payenda said most of the 300,000-strong army and police officers did not exist and that generals added the phantom personnel to official lists so they could take their wages

Khalid Payenda stated that the majority of 300,000 police officers and soldiers did not exist. Generals also added the fake personnel to their official rosters so that they could receive their wages.

He claimed the troop numbers may have been inflated by as much as six times and said it was incorrect to suggest security forces outnumbered the Taliban.

According to him, the BBC was told by the BBC that the way accountability worked was that the chief of the province would tell you how many people are there and then you could use that information to calculate salaries and ration costs. They would be always inflated.

Payenda resigned from his post as Finance Minister in Afghanistan after the Taliban gained significant gains. 

US Special Inspector General, Afghanistan Reconstruction previously stated that neither the US nor Afghanistan knew the real number of soldiers and police. 

The Afghan government collapsed in August as Taliban fighters (pictured) rapidly took control of the country, while US and coalition forces were withdrawing after 20 years

After 20 years of fighting, Taliban fighters overtook the Afghan government and took full control.

The BBC also reported that Mr Payenda claimed that some leaders of government were taking money from the Taliban while accepting their salaries.

He said, “The feeling was that we could not change it.”

“This is the way the Parliament works. This is the way the Governors work.

“Everybody would agree that the stream is cloudy from the top. This means the top is in it.

A Taliban stands guard outside the military hospital, a day after bomb blasts and attack by IS militants, in Kabul, Afghanistan, November 3, 2021. Mr Payenda's comments come as dozens of family members of American soldiers remain trapped in Afghanistan and at the mercy of the Taliban

The Taliban stand guard at the entrance to the military hospital in Kabul after bomb explosions and attacks by IS militants on November 3rd, 2021. The comments of Mr Payenda come at a time when many family members of American soldiers are still trapped in Afghanistan and under the control of Taliban.

Payenda admitted to a “certain degree” that corruption existed in the finance ministry but not to any extent when it was related to these matters. 

The news comes at a time when dozens more relatives of American soldiers are still trapped in Afghanistan and under the control of Taliban fighters, two months after Biden’s failed withdrawal.

Children, parents, siblings, and children of US military personnel are among those who have been left behind.