Afghanistan’s Former Finance Minister Now Drives An Uber Cab In The US


Guwahati:  Khalid Payenda, who was once Afghanistan’s Finance minister, now makes a living in Washington as an Uber driver, according to a report published in The Washington Post.

Payenda had resigned after President Ashraf Ghani lashed out at him in a public meeting, just a week before the Taliban seized Kabul. He had then no clue about the government’s fall to the Taliban. Payenda had felt that he had lost the trust of Ashraf Ghani and resigned.

Speaking about his daily earnings, the 40-year-old said that one night earlier this week, he made “a little over $150 for six hours’ work, not counting his commute a mediocre night”.

After coming to the US, Payenda said that he was reunited with his family. He had in Afghanistan once oversaw the US-supported $6 billion budget, according to the airport.

Payenda told a passenger that his move from Kabul to Washington had been “quite an adjustment”.

Even after the months of the tragic fall of Afghanistan, Payenda said that he shares the blame with his fellow Afghans for the swift collapse of the democratically elected government.

“We didn’t have the collective will to reform, to be serious,” he said.

He also blamed the Americans for handing the country to the Taliban and betraying the enduring values that supposedly had animated their fight. “It eats at you inside,” he said.

“Right now, I don’t have any place,” he said. “I don’t belong here, and I don’t belong there. It’s a very empty feeling.”

The Taliban last August took control of Afghanistan after President Joe Biden ended the 20-year military mission in Afghanistan.