Correspondent in Berlin
Just two years ago, Sayed Ahmad Shah Sadaat He was a key and influential person in the great powers’ struggle for Southeast Asia. As Afghanistan’s Minister of Communications, he negotiated with China the launch of the SaarcSadaat Satellite into orbit, (named for the South Asian Society for Regional Cooperation), and ended collaboration with India and its Afghansat-1 transponder program. China also promised to lay a 4,800-kilometer fiber optic line. From his office, Sadaat switched 45,000 landlines and gave access to mobile networks to around 10 million people in Afghanistan, until his position in office was weakened and he resigned, in 2020. In
In December of the same year, already warning of the unstoppable advance of the Taliban, he decided to go to safety in Leipzig, Germany.
Unlike many other Afghan ministers, he had not diverted funds abroad to ensure a comfortable retirement, so the local employment office took it upon himself to find him a job, like any other refugee. Currently, pedal taking food to home, wearing his orange uniform and charging the minimum interprofessional salary. He makes a living, waiting for better times. Speaking to German public television, he has confessed that he would prefer to work for Deutsche Telekom, but acknowledges that, while learning German, he is satisfied with his destiny. “May God help the Taliban leadership and the new Taliban minister to turn Afghanistan into a digital Afghanistan,” he writes on his Facebook account. Not so long ago he published: «A new stage begins. And with it the hope of a progressive and secure Afghanistan.
The name Sayed Ahmad Shah Saadat is familiar to all who are familiar with Afghanistan and its politicians. In 2018 it was still in the gabinete of President Ashraf Ghani. The ‘Leipziger Volkszeitung’ discovered his new job in the Liferando Pizza delivery service when he was doing a report on Afghan refugees settled in Saxony. “Now I lead a simple life,” the former minister told reporters. Since then his story has been running through the German media and social networks, eliciting all kinds of reactions. “I feel safe in Germany,” he justifies his current happiness, “the police are not corrupt, nor is politics, and that is why I feel safe here.”
But some of his compatriots read between the lines and consider that his soft statements with the Taliban regime hide the fear of being hit by reprisals even on German soil. “This is probably why he does not speak freely about the horror of what is happening,” he says from Wuppertal. Mohammad Rasoul Rahim, dueño del Restaurante Kabul of Afghan food, who admits waking up every day and looking for news “with dismay, worry, fear …”. Fear that friends may be retaliated against, possibly killed. «Journalists, intellectuals, people of different religions and political activists who fought for democracy. All of them are threatened with a terrible fate. Much thought is especially given to those who have cooperated with NATO and its allies and are now in grave danger of death, ”says Rahim. “They are against any joy in life,” adds the 63-year-old Afghan, who came to Germany with his family in 1981, fleeing political persecution. Here he studied civil engineering, but ended up setting up a company that imports food products from Afghanistan because it provided work for his relatives in the country of origin. “Any job is decent,” he says, confident of himself, and considering the former minister fortunate now on a bicycle compared to the fate that awaits many other Afghans.