ITV News in Afghanistan: 'Normal' life still a long way off for people of Kabul

Martin Geissler

Former ITV News Correspondent

ITV News is in Afghanistan to see the work British troops are doing to help stabilise its capital city, Kabul.

Although things have improved, the threat of terror from IS and the Taliban constantly hangs over the people who live here.

Without peace and security in its capital, Kabul, Afghanistan stands little chance of enjoying a stable future.

And the bad news is, that harmony seems perhaps further away now than ever.

This fast growing city of five million people is bright, vibrant and colourful.

It is prosperous in places, its schools are full, and women walk the streets unhindered - all good measures of progress.

But a claustrophobic tension hangs over its streets everyday.

This man told us he never knows if he will survive the day as it is so dangerous. Credit: ITV News

IS and the Taliban are at work here.

The security services do what they can to keep on top of the threat, but it’s like catching water in a sieve.

Old smuggling routes are used to ferry explosives into the city.

At the end of May, an eight tonne truck bomb was detonated inside the supposedly secure Green Zone, claiming 150 lives.

Security services do what they can, but they need help. Credit: ITV News

Help has arrived from Britain in the form of the 2nd Batallion of the Yorkshire Regiment - but they’re not here to fight.

In heavily armoured patrols, they ferry military advisors across town to mentor the Afghan forces.

The soldiers are briefed each time they leave base, the threats listed and the drills discussed.

Nothing is left to chance here and, with more than 100 “significant acts” recorded in the two months they’ve been on the ground, it’s easy to see why.

ITV News on patrol with the Yorkshire Regiment. Credit: ITV News

Their senior officers talk optimistically of a stable future here, the Taliban driven to the negotiating table and peace breaking out.

But they are a determined enemy, men who’ve lost whole generations of their family in this battle and known nothing else but war.

The prospect of Kabul enjoying “normal” life any time soon, seems optimistic at best.