Do you know what the Pakistanis did during the Taliban?

I don’t even know how I got into that conversation. We had just come back from the dry fruit shop where I bought some almonds and we were discussing how good, but expensive dry fruit is.

“Afghanistan produces the best dry fruit in the world: raisins, diamonds [meaning almonds], pistachios…”

“Oh, really? I did’t know about pistachios”

“Yes, yes: the best in the world”

“Ah and where are they from?”

“Baghdis province”

“Didn’t know that”

“Yes, there used to be jungles of pistachio trees. But then the Pakistanis came.Do you know what did the Pakistanis do during the Taliban?”

“Hm?”

“So during the Taliban, the Pakistanis went there and told people that the roots of the pistachio trees are good for your health. So people there were very poor and had no money. So you know what they did? They cut all the trees and pulled the roots out. And now we are very few trees left.”

“Oh that’s sad”

“And you know, the Pakistanis did something else that is very strange during the Taliban.”

“What is that?”

“They told people that they needed bones, many bones, human bones. And that they would pay for that. So people went to the cemeteries, dug the graves, took the bones and sold them.”

“Hmmm… The Pakistanis did indeed very strange things during the Taliban”

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