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8.7.2019 EXCLUSIVE: A museum looted before inauguration
CHARIKAR (SW)  Over a decade ago, ground breaking ceremony was staged for
the National Museum for Jihad and Resistance in Parwan, but no signs of
it are visible now.

Former President Hamid Karzai was flanked by his deputy back then,
Mohammad Qaseem Fahem, speaker of the Wolesi Jirga (lower house), Mohammad
Yonus Qanuni and minister for information and culture, Syed Makhdoom Raheen
as well as a number of local leaders from Parwan in the Jabal Siraj
district for this ceremony.

It has been nearly 14 years since, but the museum never got built.

Just two years ago, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani issued a decree
particularly directing military institutions to present iron scrap for
tender and sale. In line with this decree, the local authorities in Parwan
has urged the district administration in Jabal Siraj to present the rusting
and old items from this National Museum for Jihad and Resistance for
sale to a private steel mill, Maihan Steel. This official communiqué
has invited the wrath of former Jihadi figures in Kabul, Parwan, Kapisa
and Panjshir provinces.

Protesters have taken to the street to stop this auction from taking
place.

Noor Mohammad Sikandar, member of the local Jihad and Resistance Council,
told Salam Watandar the Pushta Surkh region where this museum is located
has historic significance for the country, and the items from the museum
would not be allowed for auction. He charged the Kabul government and some
elements within the province want to remove the prides of Jihad and
resistance. Sikandar said items from the museum were set to be sold at a
throw away price of AFN 7000.

Documents obtained by SW indicated the presidency has inked a deal worth
AFN 15 per 7kg of iron from this museum.

The local Jihad and Resistance Council in Parwan has vowed to stand
against this move.
Though, officials in Parwan have vowed to develop this museum, but the
documents obtained by SW indicate the provincial governor has sent clear
instructions to the district governor to facilitate the transfer of old
tanks and other military items to the Maihan Steel.

Fazaluddin Ayar, provincial governor, has blamed a number of individuals
for trying to seek personal gains in hindering the auction of these items.
He told an official gathering that it is much better to melt these iron
products and re-use them for construction rather than wait for it to rust
under the Sun.

The directorate of information and culture expressed unawareness over the
matter. Abdul Wahed Hashimi, director information and culture,
acknowledged the foundation stone for this museum was laid some 14 years
ago, but construction of the museum is yet to be completed.

The Pushta Surkh is a military area associated with the Ministry of
Defense. It is not known yet, why this move of selling off these items has
been initiated after the ground breaking ceremony was staged for the
National Museum for Jihad and Resistance some 14 years ago.

It sounds quite identical to the case of Alakozay Group of Companies
hoping to acquire a prime land in Kabul close to the Hamid Karzai Airport
at a throwaway price of $ 2.5 per square meter. Four years ago, the
presidency inked a deal with the AGC for a total of 143.54 jeribs of land
with a 90 per cent subsidy.

There were reports the move was part of a deal between the two parties
that mean financial support from the AGC for President Ghanis electoral
campaign.


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