|Kabul: 9:34 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
Islamists & constitution (Guardian)
The Guardian (London) November 3, 2003 Afghanistan's constitution to be unveiled: Warning that Islamist militants may 'hijack' blueprint for strong central government as UN envoys fly in to support Karzai's government By Jonathan Steele and AP in Kabul Afghanistan's tortuous effort to write a constitution that will give the country stability, rebuild a strong central government and reduce the power of Islamic conservatives is expected to move closer this week with the publication of a first draft. The draft was originally promised for September 1, but fierce arguments and several late-night meetings of the constitutional commission have led to repeated delays. The role of Islam, the balance of authority between the central government and the provinces, and the mandate of a parliament have been vigorously disputed. President Hamid Karzai, whose term ends in June, has been reading the text carefully and offering suggestions. In last-minute changes last week the commission dropped plans to create the post of prime minister, according to a senior official who has seen the latest text. The fear was that a prime minister, even if appointed by the president, could develop into a rival. There might also be confusion about who was in charge of the government. Ambassadors from the UN security council arrived in Afghanistan yesterday to demonstrate the international community's commitment to Mr Karzai's government, the head of the mission said. Gunter Pleuger, Germany's envoy, said that during stops in the cities of Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif the diplomats would call on regional warlords "to cooperate fully with the central government", to help create enough stability for national elections next year. "We will speak with the local warlords and call to their attention the responsibility for the whole country demanded from them, that they work together with the central government - economically, politically and above all for security," he said. Last month the security council approved expanding the mission of the 5,500-member Nato-led peacekeeping force, which is now deployed only in Kabul; 450 German peacekeepers are on their way to the northern city of Kunduz. The draft, expected to be published in the next few days, proposes a strong executive president and a vice-president, elected on the same ticket, following the US pattern. But in an Afghan twist, the vice-president would not serve out the president's term if the president died in office. The deputy would only be an acting president and elections would be held within three months. "This takes account of Afghan history and is meant to reduce the risk of assassination or palace coup," the official said. The draft proposes a unitary rather than a federal state, and has several chapters outlining basic human rights and out lawing discrimination against women. On Islam, the draft will delight Afghanistan's secular democrats by making no mention of sharia law. It says Islam is Afghanistan's religion and "no law will be made which will oppose the principles of Islam". Conservatives pushed for what they said was only a technical change, amending the word "principles" to "provisions", but opponents said this opened the door to sharia. In an attempt to involve the public, the commission officials handed out half a million questionnaires at meetings around the country. One in five was returned. The draft could change radi cally when a constitutional loya jirga , or traditional assembly, convenes next month in Kabul to adopt it. The 500 delegates are being selected at local meetings, where charges of intimidation have been raised. The international rights watchdog Human Rights Watch reported last week that armed men and military commanders had threatened candidates in the north, forcing at least one to withdraw. The thinktank the International Crisis Group has warned of the risk of an "extremist hijack" by mojahedin groups who are strong in the government and the provinces. It said the plan for a loya jirga should be dropped and the constitution should be adopted by an elected national assembly. Last Thursday the UN said it had suspended road missions to four provinces in the south because of attacks on aid workers. Armed escorts are accompanying UN missions in parts of Kandahar province, according to a UN spokesman, Manoel de Almeida e Silva. In Kabul, the German commander of the peacekeeping force, General Goetz Glimeroth, has warned that Taliban and al-Qaida guerrillas could launch attacks on "soft targets" in the city, on the lines of last week's suicide bombing of the headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Baghdad. "The quality of the potential threat has intensified," he said.
Posted By: mariam   November 4th 2003, 2003 2:26 PM
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.