Pak Frees Eight Taliban Prisoners
Taliban militantsReuters

Taliban fighters have not been receiving any money for months, fighter Mullah Yaseen told social news network Vocativ.

When Yaseen left his village and headed to the city of Quetta, Pakistan to collect supplies and ammunitions, he was told there were temporary cash-flow problems and he should ask his fellow villagers for a loan. The Taliban's finance department has a special office dedicated to resolving complaints, but it was no help. "They told me, 'Sorry, we don't have that much money right now,' " Yaseen explained.

This is one of the toughest times for Afghanistan insurgents, who are running out of food, money and ammunition; and their plight is unlikely to improve anytime soon.

"The Arabs' departure is a crippling blow. Support from private Saudi donors has been crucial to Afghanistan's insurgents ever since the war against the Soviets in the 1980s [...] But interest in Afghanistan has faded among hard-liners in the Gulf region. Osama bin Laden is dead; most of al- Qaida's surviving operatives have fled the constant threat of US drone attacks," Vocativ reported.

Furthermore, Afghan civilians say to be fed up with the Taliban, who are no longer seen as soldiers of God.

"Their fundraisers used to come on foot to collect donations. Now they show up in luxury cars. It's clear they're stealing the money."

A former Taliban commander is of the same opinion: "Instead of going to jihad, the donations are cruising down the streets of Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi."

What is really upsetting for Afghans, is that Taliban no longer fight to protect them. This is evincible by looking at the indiscriminate attacks which kill dozens of civilians.

"The Taliban aren't fighting Americans or NATO forces anymore," Yaseen said.

"Instead they kill poor Afghans. Islam forbids us to give money that would encourage the murder of civilians."

Current Afghanistan's President Karzai speaks during a news conference in Kabul on Oct. 4, 2012.Reuters

Afghan Presidential election campaign starts amid tensions

Taliban fighters and their financial problems are put aside, as Afghanistan is concentrating on the presidential election, to replace current President Hamid Karzai, which will take place on 5 April.

The election is the third presidential poll since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001. Karzai has led the country ever since; first he was appointed by a national assembly and then he was elected twice.

The upcoming election is important as it will appoint a new president (chosen among 11 candidates) after more than a decade of Karzai's administration.

The election is in two rounds. If no candidate gets more than 50% of the vote in the first round, a second one must be held pitting the top two candidates against each other.

Taliban threatened to target the campaign. Two workers for candidate Abdullah Abdullah were shot dead in the western city of Herat on Saturday.

Last year an election official was killed by the terrorist group who then officially claimed responsibility of the murder on Twitter.

The group's leader denounced the 2014 vote as a "waste of time" and said "pious people" would not participate.