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taliban: Warlord chic: Taliban make themselves at home in Dostum’s mansion – Times of India

KABUL: Taliban fighters have taken over the glitzy Kabul mansion of considered one of their fiercest enemies — the warlord and fugitive ex-vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum.
Now within the fingers of rank and file Taliban fighters, the opulent villa has given the austere Islamists a peek into the lives of Afghanistan’s former rulers, they usually say the posh is the proceeds of years of endemic corruption.
Alongside an infinite hall with a thick apple-green carpet, a younger fighter sleeps slumped on a settee, his Kalashnikov rifle resting in opposition to him, as unique fish glide above him in considered one of seven big tanks.
The fighter is a part of the non-public safety element of Qari Salahuddin Ayoubi — one of many new regime’s strongest commanders — who put in his firm of 150 males within the mansion on August 15, the day Kabul fell.
The luxurious AFP noticed on a tour of the mansion can be unimaginable for many atypical Afghans.
Big glass chandeliers cling in cavernous halls, massive mushy sofas furnish a maze of lounges and an indoor swimming pool is completed with intricate turquoise tiles.
It even boasts a sauna, a Turkish steam bathtub and a completely outfitted gymnasium.
It’s an improbable expertise for the brand new occupants, who for years sacrificed creature comforts for riot — residing on their wits within the plains, valleys and mountains of rural Afghanistan.
However the brand new head of the family — now the navy commander of 4 provinces — makes it clear his males is not going to get used to the posh.
Islam by no means desires us to have an expensive life,” Ayoubi informed AFP, including luxurious is available in paradise, “the life after demise”.
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 vp, he was the very definition of a crafty political survivor who weathered over 4 a long time of battle in war-torn Afghanistan.
Regardless of a collection of warfare crimes linked to Dostum’s forces, the previous Afghan authorities hoped his navy 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.
Dostum is extensively suspected to have vastly 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.
In a single wing of the large home, Taliban fighters relaxed in an enormous tropical greenhouse of a number of hundred sq. metres below an enormous glass roof.
That’s ignored by a mezzanine dominated by a darkish wooden bar — a testomony to the reported decadent tastes of a common famend for a penchant for late nights and robust liquor.
The Taliban have good purpose 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 below a scorching solar.
However Commander Ayoubi rejected any want 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 stated.
However the brand new regime is not going to permit such luxurious to be constructed with ill-gotten positive aspects sooner or later, he stated.
“We’re on the facet of the poor,” he says, as dozens of tourists wait patiently within the hall, idly watching the detached fish.

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