01 August, 2021

'It's As Safe As Delhi Or Bombay'

Chairman, IO Global Services, provides a contrarian account of life in Kabul.

'It's As Safe As Delhi Or Bombay'
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Our company, which has 800 vsat installations across Afghanistan, has posted 25 Indians there and also employs another 25 Afghanis and Pakistanis. There's tremendous goodwill for Indians in Kabul, and it translates in a personal manner. For example, a local dhaba will not charge you for food or will give free helpings. The Afghans are crazy about Hindi films. The locals keep asking the same questions—do you know Sunil Shetty or Shahrukh Khan? Almost every Afghan I met seemed influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and Guru Nanak (called Baba Nanak there). Because of these reason, Indians feel safe in Kabul. They live comfortably as the quality of life is better and cheaper. They earn twice what they can in India and also save their entire salaries as everything else like housing, food and travel is provided by the employer.

When I go to Kabul, I party a lot with my employees. There are several pubs and restaurants in the city; even alcohol is available quite freely, unlike in the Middle East. Now you can get Indian, Italian, all kinds of food. But all the Chinese restaurants...

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