|Kabul: 2:31 AM      |
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.
Arian Mouj Sharifi
Rebuilt Kabul to Kandahar highway opens (CBC, AP)
Kabul to Kandahar highway reopens Last Updated Tue, 16 Dec 2003 21:10:09 KABUL - Several lanes on the road to recovery opened up in Afghanistan on Tuesday in the form of a rebuilt highway between Kabul and Kandahar. Between Kabul and Kandahar The 482-kilometre road destroyed by decades of war was declared open by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Four Afghans were killed during the reconstruction of the highway linking the capital to one of Afghanistan's key provincial cities – the largest reconstruction project in the country since the Taliban regime fell. Reopening the route is seen as a key step in rebuilding the economy. Travel between the two cities will now take about five hours. The previous day, the trip would have taken two days. The announcement comes as Afghan leaders meet this week in Kabul to debate the country's draft constitution. A Canadian company will play a key role in the next road reconstruction project, from Kandahar to Herat. Mosaic Mapping of Ottawa has been hired to survey and map out a 500-kilometre stretch of road. Ottawa is hopeful Canadian companies can get involved in similar jobs in Iraq. But Washington has said companies based in countries that refused to participate in the war there need not apply. Written by CBC News Online staff
Dec 16, 2003 6:42 AM Eastern Time
Road opening, rocket attack highlight hopes and fears as Afghans
By AIJAZ RAHI
Several dozen delegates broke away from a crucial constitutional
assembly on Tuesday to celebrate the inauguration of the Kabul-
Kandahar highway, a vital artery linking the capital with the lawless
and poverty-stricken south.
Helicopters brought the delegates - many wearing traditional flowing
robes and sporting turbans or flat woolen hats - to a sparse stretch
of the highway about 25 miles southwest of the capital. President
Hamid Karzai cut a ribbon stretched across the smooth new tarmac.
The project, funded mostly by the American government, was vital to
Afghanistan's recovery after 23 years of war, Karzai said. "I'm sure
it will have its effect and its impact on the economy."
"We are standing, literally, on the road to Afghanistan's future,"
U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad said. "The opening of the Kabul-
Kandahar road is not the end of our work - it is just the beginning."
The road has been built amid increased attacks by Taliban insurgents,
many in the rugged provinces it winds through - Ghazni, Wardak, Zabul
Workers on the $270 million project have been targeted for
kidnappings and several have been killed. Two Indian engineers
abducted Dec. 6 while shopping in a village near the road remain in
the hands of suspected Taliban militants.
"We can call them the martyrs of the road-reconstruction," Karzai
said at the opening ceremony, which was guarded by hundreds of U.S.
and Afghan soldiers.
Billions in reconstruction aid have flowed into Afghanistan after a
U.S.-led offensive drove the Taliban from power two years ago for
harboring Osama bin Laden.
Work is underway on several main roads and the Salang Tunnel, which
passes through the daunting Hindu Kush mountains, and is the main
link to the north.
But the 300-mile highway from the capital to Kandahar, the Taliban's
former southern stronghold, is the country's main route. About one-
third of the population lives within 30 miles of the road.
Resurfacing has cut travel time between the two Afghan cities from 16
hours to about six, helping knit the country back together.
With about 60 delegates attending the road project, debate at the
third day of the constitutional council, or loya jirga, in Kabul was
slow. Delegates were preparing to break into groups to debate some of
the 160 articles in a draft constitution presented by Karzai's
Three rockets slammed into the capital early Tuesday, but they landed
far from the loya jirga site and caused no casualties. Still the
attack highlighted security concerns amid fears the Taliban would
target the session.
Some of the 500 delegates slept right through the drama. Others said
they noticed even greater security as they entered the closely
guarded site Tuesday, as three helicopters patrolled the sky overhead.
In the huge tent on a Kabul college campus where the discussions
entered their third day Tuesday, delegates said the blasts only made
them more determined.
"I'm not worried," said Abdul Jabar Naimi, a representative of
Kandahar, the former southern stronghold of the Taliban. "Everyone is
keen to press on and pass the constitution. We're well-prepared."
Allies of Karzai, who is pressing for a strong presidency, also felt
confirmed in their convictions.
"People want to see the government in control," said Ahmad Wali
Karzai, a younger brother of the president also from
Kandahar. "Whoever is behind the attacks is the loser, the people are
sick and tired of this."
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.
www.kabul-reconstructions.net is an online discussion forum, information resource, and medium for the communication of questions and answers about the reconstruction between people inside and outside the city of Kabul itself.