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Welcome to Kabul:Reconstructions. You can follow the information below, which has been gathered from a number of sources by a number of participants (click on the names at left for bios), to reconstruct your own picture of events in Kabul since this site was launched on March 8th, 2003 and, in a sense, since the reconstruction of Afghanistan began somewhere in the winter of 2001-02.

Some of this information has been provided in response to specific questions submitted by visitors like you. Please note that this section of the project is now maintained as an archive and has not been updated since 2005. Click here to ASK A QUESTION.

Participants
Mariam Ghani
Tarek Ghani
Zohra Saed
Massoud Hosseini
Nassima Mustafa
Bibigol Ghani
Arian Mouj Sharifi
Soraia Ghani

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Evictions in Kabul (Indepent, BBC, Irin)
The Independent (London) September 12, 2003 MINISTER CRITICISED OVER KABUL EVICTIONS AFGHANISTAN: A UN official has criticised the Defence Minister over the eviction of poor families from some of the most valuable land in the capital, Kabul, to make way for "rich and well-connected" government officials. Miloon Kothari said Mohammed Fahim was among ministers who had benefited from the practice. Karzai 'to stop officials' land grab' BBC NEWS 2003/09/12 13:41:23 GMT Afghan President Hamid Karzai will take measures against ministers in his own cabinet following allegations that they are grabbing land from the poor, the finance minister has said. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai said: "This is unacceptable to people and the president is going to soon be taking decisive action to remove this kind of thing." On Thursday, a top UN official said Vice-president and Defence Minister Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim and others should be removed from office for grabbing the land. A spokesman for the defence ministry told the BBC the allegations against Marshal Fahim were "all wrong". All the officials named by the UN envoy are from the Northern Alliance, which is the backbone of the government. Correspondents say there remains strong factionalism among those in power in Afghan ministries and their supporters. Crisis "When land is taken like it was in Kabul a few days ago, this creates a crisis of governance," the finance minister said. "Ministers should absolutely be forbidden to use public land for private gains." Ministers that are very directly involved have to be removed Miloon Kothari, UN special envoy However, Saranwal Mirjan, head of the foreign relations department at the defence ministry, said the UN was being misled by enemies of the defence minister who wanted to take their revenge. Mr Mirjan said: "These houses are planned according to the master plan for Kabul. This is an issue that's being decided by the municipal authorities in Kabul. Marshal Fahim doesn't have any intention to interfere in the plans of the municipal authorities in Kabul." Marshal Fahim was a key commander of the fighting force that defeated the Taleban and survived an assassination attempt in the eastern city of Jalalabad in April last year. Property disputes The UN's special envoy on the right to adequate housing, Miloon Kothari, said on Thursday he had spoken to people whose houses had been destroyed in Kabul's Shir Pur district to make way for new homes for ministers. In addition to Marshal Fahim, he named the Education Minister, Yunis Qanooni, and said he had a list of others. A spokesman for Mr Qanooni told the AFP news agency he was unaware of the allegations. Mr Kothari said: "There has to be change, and ministers that are very directly involved have to be removed. I don't see what else can be done. "A number of ministers... including the minister of defence are directly involved in this kind of occupation and dispossession of poor people, some of whom have been there for 25 to 30 years." Mr Kothari warned that if property disputes were not tackled they could return the country to "decades of conflict". Mr Kothari said growing land speculation in cities was "putting land and housing out of the reach of the poor". AFGHANISTAN: Police violently evict Kabul residents IRIN News September 4, 2003 KABUL- Abdul Salam and his six-member family were having breakfast quietly at home on Wednesday when their house was bulldozed by Afghan police. "We thought it was a bomb explosion or earthquake," the 35-year-old civil servant told IRIN, adding that two of her children were injured when they started to escape the destruction through the windows. Salam's is one of 30 families in the Shirpur area of Wazir Akbar Khan district of the capital Kabul, who were evicted from their homes and then watched in horror as their houses were destroyed in front of them, because, authorities say, they were built illegally. Many of those evicted were badly injured during the operation as their flimsy houses crashed down around them. According to residents and witnesses, the chief of police of Kabul himself led the operation. "Policemen were badly beating the residents and they even beat two women when they tried to stop police beating their husbands,' Salam maintained. Kabul is desperately short of housing as hundreds of thousands of returned refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) have flocked to the capital in search of work and services. Two decades of conflict have left vast areas of Kabul in ruins and there is no prospect of affordable housing in quantity becoming available any time soon. Rents have soared in Kabul in the past 18 months, placing housing out of reach of many residents and returnees. The United Nations on Thursday expressed concern over the incident. "What has happened here is not only a serious human rights violation but also contrary to the human rights obligation of the [Afghan] government itself," Miloon Kothari, a Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing for the United Nations Commission of Human Rights, told IRIN while visiting the homeless families at the demolition site on Thursday. Kothari had been invited by the Afghan government to look at housing, land rights and displacement in the country. According to Kothari, those evicted are poor and had been living in the district for 30 years. "The very people who are responsible for maintaining law and order and responsible for ensuring that these people have their rights, appear to be the violators." The Kabul police said that they had informed the residents to vacate the area six months ago. "We have not done the demolition ourselves, we have protected the municipality people and as an executive power of the government it was our responsibility," General Basir Salangi the chief of police in Kabul, told IRIN on Thursday maintaining his men were acting on a court order from the office of the attorney general. "The families were given many options such as alternative land, cash and tents but they did not accept any of these," he underlined. The United Nation Assistant Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said that considering the large deployment of police personnel and equipment, the authorities had acted with excessive use of force. "Such action also created a humanitarian emergency, as the houses of these 30 families were bulldozed and many of their belongings destroyed," said Manoel de Almeida e Silva, a spokesperson of the UN special envoy in Afghanistan. UNAMA said that about 260 other families in the same district were at risk of eviction in the next three months. "There should be no evictions until there is planning for the city of Kabul that is for everybody, mainly for the poor," Kathori said, indicating he would write a letter to Afghan president Hamid Karzai on the issue.
Posted By: mariam   September 15th 2003, 2003 11:22 AM



Kabul: Partial Reconstructions is an installation and public dialogue project that explores the multiple meanings and resonances of the idea of reconstruction -- as both process and metaphor -- in the context of present-day Kabul.

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