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 palms 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 luxurious is the proceeds of years of endemic corruption.
Alongside an countless 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 private 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 posh AFP noticed on a tour of the mansion can be unimaginable for many abnormal Afghans.
Big glass chandeliers grasp in cavernous halls, massive gentle 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 tub and a completely outfitted health club.
It’s an unbelievable expertise for the brand new occupants, who for years sacrificed creature comforts for insurrection — residing on their wits within the plains, valleys and mountains of rural Afghanistan.
However the brand new head of the family — now the army commander of 4 provinces — makes it clear his males won’t get used to the luxurious.
Islam by no means needs us to have an expensive life,” Ayoubi advised 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 current 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 collection of battle 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.
Dostum is broadly 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 big home, Taliban fighters relaxed in a large tropical greenhouse of a number of hundred sq. metres beneath an enormous glass roof.
That’s missed 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 powerful liquor.
The Taliban have good cause to hate Dostum.
In 2001, he was accused of killing greater than 2,000 fighters — locking many in containers in the course of the desert the place they suffocated beneath 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 may have destroyed them,” he stated.
However the brand new regime won’t permit such luxurious to be constructed with ill-gotten good points sooner or later, he stated.
“We’re on the aspect of the poor,” he says, as dozens of holiday makers wait patiently within the hall, idly watching the detached fish.

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