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Retired Kabul University professor sells clothes on streets to survive amid unpaid pensions

Kabul [Afghanistan], September 29 (ANI): Amid the surge in unemployment and poverty in Afghanistan, a retired professor from Kabul University was found selling second-hand goods at the roadside in Herat city to fulfil his needs, reported TOLO News.

Ever since the Taliban group took control of Kabul following the dramatic fall of the Ashraf Ghani government, professor Abdul Qayum Khajazada, who taught at the Faculty of Science of Kabul University for 35 years, retired from his service. For the last 2 years, Khajazada has not received pension, forcing him to do odd jobs.

The retired professor said that due to the financial crunch, he is forced to sell clothes on the streets to support his family of six members, TOLO News reported.

"I retired at the age of 65. Because the pension is not being paid right now and my children are hungry, I had to turn to selling things, especially second-hand things," Khajazada said.

Sayed Ashraf Sadat, a civil rights activist, said that many people were forced to do such jobs because their pensions were not paid to them, which is likely to put them in a more vulnerable state.

"Specialists and academics play an essential role in the growth of society, and their needs should be taken seriously," he said.

Apart from serving as a professor, Khajazada has also contributed to the Presidential Palace and Afghanistan's national radio and television for years.

Hamza, one of the students of Khajazada, said, "He has helped the society and the students, members of the society.""When we see that our teachers have left their jobs and do not have the desire to teach at universities, we cannot do our duty," said Ramin, another student.

Under the Taliban's rule, the economic problems in the country have worsened, leading to the rise of unemployment and poverty.

Earlier in May, many military veterans and retired employees residing in the country voiced their concerns over unpaid pensions, TOLO News reported.

They gathered before the Directorate of Retiree Pensions in Kabul to complain about unpaid pensions and threatened to take to the streets if their issues were not resolved. However, there has been no concrete action taken to address their demands.

Afghanistan, a country heavily reliant on aid, lost Western donor support with the Taliban's return to power following the US and NATO pullout in August 2021.

The Afghan economy swiftly collapsed, forcing self-sufficient Afghans to seek humanitarian aid to survive. Because of widespread human rights violations, the Taliban's regime has been under international isolation.

Notably, with the resurgence of the Taliban in August 2021 in Afghanistan, the country's educational system has suffered a significant setback. As a result, girls have been deprived of access to education, and seminaries or religious schools have gradually filled the void left by schools and universities. (ANI)