|Kabul: 11:55 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
Bomb incident increases security concerns for CLJ (NYT)
The New York Times December 29, 2003 5 Afghan Officers Are Killed In Attack as Assembly Meets By CARLOTTA GALL A man with a bomb killed five Afghan intelligence officers and himself near Kabul's international airport on Sunday afternoon, casting a shadow of concern over the grand assembly meeting in Kabul to approve a new constitution. A senior intelligence official, Jalal, who was responsible for the security of the defense minister, was killed along with four of his officers when the bomber set off the explosion as they were trying to question him, a senior military official said. Two suspected accomplices of the bomber escaped. Their car was found abandoned on the other side of the city. The attack took place several miles from Kabul Polytechnic, the campus where the grand assembly, or loya jirga, is taking place. But it immediately raised concerns that the Taliban or others were trying to disrupt the proceedings. There had been intelligence reports that a car bomb attack might be planned during the meeting, and international peacekeeping troops, the Afghan military and the police organized tight security across the city and blocked off the streets around the campus. Remnants of the Taliban, the militant Islamic movement ousted from leadership in Afghanistan, are suspected of continuing attacks against the new government and American forces. They had threatened to disrupt the loya jirga, branding it an American-orchestrated event. Several rockets have been fired into the city at night over the past two weeks, causing damage but no casualties. A bomb exploded early on Christmas Day outside the house of some United Nations volunteers, damaging a wall but injuring no one. Afghan intelligence officers had trailed a suspicious car around Kabul for most of the day on Sunday and then followed a young man who got out of the car carrying a pressure cooker. They had detained him on a quiet side road near the airport and began to question him inside their own car when he detonated the bomb, Muhammad Sharif, deputy chief of the Kabul garrison, said in an interview. It was not clear whether the bomb was in the pressure cooker or strapped to the bomber's body. "They did not search him; that was their mistake," said Muhammad Aman, the deputy intelligence chief of Kabul, as he surveyed the wreckage. The bomber seemed to be an Afghan, probably in his 20's, said Mr. Sharif, who visited the scene immediately after the attack. After two weeks of sometimes heated debate but steady progress, the loya jirga is close to agreeing on the final text of a new constitution. For the last five days, a reconciliation committee with about 50 members has been compiling all the votes and recommendations of the 10 working groups and incorporating them into a final draft. The 502 delegates were expecting to receive the new text on Sunday evening and assemble for a final vote on Monday. Further amendments may still be tabled, though, and it is unclear how long the final discussion will run. "There is one loya jirga that lasted three years," joked one Western diplomat. Officials are hoping the assembly will wrap up in the next few days. The American ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, and the United Nations special representative to Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, have both arranged flights out of Kabul before the end of the month. Agreement was reached by the reconciliation committee on the last and most contentious articles in a late-night meeting on Saturday, a United Nations official said. The agreement preserves the presidential system that President Hamid Karzai favors, but changes have been made to strengthen the Parliament, subjecting ministers, and the chiefs of the Intelligence Service and the Central Bank to parliamentary confirmation, a Western diplomat familiar with the discussions said. The president will be made answerable to the Parliament as well as the nation as a whole, and supervision of the constitution will be given to Parliament rather than the president, said a member of the reconciliation committee. Efforts by regional officials to win more power for the regional governments were rejected, however, and the constitution retains strong central power for the government. There has been some strengthening of the wording on the extent to which Islamic law will influence the government, but also a definition of citizens, to encompass "men and women" that will please those pressing for rights for women, the diplomat said. The text on religious freedom has also been improved, he said. The issues that may still delay final ratification, in the end, are ethnic issues. Uzbeks from the north of Afghanistan have held out for language rights and education in their own language, although others have objected to that, saying it will increase ethnic divisions. Strong feelings remain over the choice of Pashto, the language of the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan and of the former rulers of the country, as the national language.
Posted By: mariam   June 16th 2004, 2004 11:52 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.
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.