The Taliban has celebrated Afghanistan’s Independence Day by declaring it had beaten the United States.
But challenges to its rule, ranging from running the country’s frozen government to potentially facing armed opposition, have begun to emerge.
From ATMs being out of cash to worries about food across the nation of 38 million people reliant on imports, the Taliban faces all the challenges of the civilian government it dethroned without the level of international aid it enjoyed.
The Taliban so far has offered no plans for the government it plans to lead, other than to say it will be guided by Sharia, or Islamic, law.
But the pressure continues to grow.
Thursday marked Afghanistan’s Independence Day, which commemorates the 1919 treaty that ended British rule in the central Asian nation.
“Fortunately, today we are celebrating the anniversary of independence from Britain,” the Taliban said.
“We at the same time as a result of our jihadi resistance forced another arrogant power of the world, the United States, to fail and retreat from our holy territory of Afghanistan.”
At least one person was killed.
While urging people to return to work, most government officials remain hiding in their homes or attempting to flee the Taliban.
Questions remain over Afghanistan’s nine billion dollars of foreign reserves, the vast majority now apparently frozen in the US.
Afghanistan’s Central Bank head has warned the country’s supply of physical US dollars is “close to zero”, which will see inflation raise the prices of needed food while depreciating its currency, the afghani.
Meanwhile, a drought has seen more than 40% of the country’s crop lost, Ms McGroarty said.
Many fled the Taliban advance and now live in parks and open spaces in Kabul.
Mahdi Ali, who owns a grocery shop in western Kabul, said that while some markets and stores had begun to open, challenges remained.
“Today I bought as much as I could from the local companies that bring groceries with cars,” he said.
Meanwhile, he saw Taliban fighters seizing government cars and setting up checkpoints to search vehicles.
The militants also checked his shop several times.
Two of Afghanistan’s key border crossings with Pakistan, Torkham near Jalalabad and Chaman near Spin Boldak, are now open for cross-border trade.
Hundreds of trucks have passed through, Pakistan’s interior minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed has said.
There has been no armed opposition to the Taliban.
But videos from the Panjshir Valley north of Kabul, a stronghold of the Northern Alliance militias that allied with the US during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, appear to show potential opposition figures gathering there.
That area is in the only province that has not fallen to the Taliban.
Those figures include members of the deposed government – vice president Amrullah Saleh, who asserted on Twitter that he is the country’s rightful president, and defence minister General Bismillah Mohammadi – as well as Ahmad Massoud, the son of the killed Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud.
In an opinion piece published by The Washington Post, Mr Massoud asked for weapons and aid to fight the Taliban.
“I write from the Panjshir Valley today, ready to follow in my father’s footsteps, with mujahideen fighters who are prepared to once again take on the Taliban,” he wrote.
“The Taliban is not a problem for the Afghan people alone. Under Taliban control, Afghanistan will without doubt become ground zero of radical Islamist terrorism; plots against democracies will be hatched here once again.”