KABUL: The Taliban have taken over the opulent mansion of ex-vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum — situated within the neighbourhood domestically known as the “Thieves’ Quarters”.
Abdul Rashid Dostum, the ex-vice president of Afghanistan, was rumoured to have massively profited from the corruption and embezzlement that discredited the previous authorities.
A number of officers illegally took land to construct luxurious mansions in a single neighbourhood, incomes it the nickname “Thieves’ Quarter” amongst locals.
Following the autumn of Kabul in mid-August, Qari Salahuddin Ayoubi — one of many new regime’s strongest commanders —took management of Dostum’s villa, the place now 150 males are stationed.
The opulent villa has given the Taliban a peek into the lives of Afghanistan’s former rulers, they usually say the luxurious is the proceeds of years of endemic corruption.
AFP on a tour of the mansion noticed luxurious that will be unimaginable for many strange Afghans.
Big glass chandeliers grasp in cavernous halls, massive delicate sofas furnish a maze of lounges and an indoor swimming pool is completed with intricate turquoise tiles inside the mansion.
The villa even boasts a sauna, a Turkish steam tub and a completely geared up gymnasium.
The mansion is a fantastic expertise for the brand new occupants, who for years sacrificed creature comforts for revolt dwelling within the plains, valleys and mountains of rural Afghanistan.
Ayoubi, nonetheless, has made it clear that his males is not going to get used to the luxurious.
“Islam by no means needs us to have an opulent life,” Ayoubi instructed AFP, including luxurious is available in paradise, “the life after demise”.
The ‘Thieves’ Quarter’
The mansion’s proprietor, Dostum, is a infamous determine woven into the material of Afghanistan’s latest historical past.
A former paratrooper, communist commander, warlord and vice chairman, he was the very definition of a crafty political survivor who weathered over 4 many years of battle in war-torn Afghanistan.
Regardless of a sequence of struggle crimes linked to Dostum’s forces, the previous Afghan authorities hoped his army acumen and seething hatred of the Taliban would assist them survive.
However his stronghold was overrun and the greying 67-year-old fled throughout the border to Uzbekistan.
The Taliban have a great motive to hate Dostum.
In 2001, he was accused of killing greater than 2,000 fighters — locking many in containers in the midst of the desert the place they suffocated beneath a scorching solar.
However Commander Ayoubi rejected any need for revenge.
“If different individuals who had been oppressed like us got here right here, you wouldn’t have seen the chairs and tables. They could have destroyed them,” he mentioned.
However the brand new regime is not going to permit such luxurious to be constructed with ill-gotten features sooner or later, he mentioned.
“We’re on the facet of the poor,” he says, as dozens of holiday makers wait patiently within the hall, idly watching the detached fish.