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Hugh Sykes in Kabul

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George South | 17:27 UK time, Monday, 27 June 2011


Hugh has a series of reports for us from Pakistan and Afghanistan this week. Here are some of the people and places in his first report, from Kabul:



Izatullah

Izatullah at his iced cherry juice stand. A few days ago, he heard an explosion nearby, and shooting. He ran for cover. It was a suicide bomb attack on a police station in Mandawi wholesale market. Nine people died.



Hugh has a series of reports for us from Pakistan and Afghanistan this week. Here are some of the people and places in his first report, from Kabul:



Izatullah

Izatullah at his iced cherry juice stand. A few days ago, he heard an explosion nearby, and shooting. He ran for cover. It was a suicide bomb attack on a police station in Mandawi wholesale market. Nine people died.

Mandawi market

Mandawi market.

US patrol in Mandawi market

A US patrol in Mandawi market. The street almost emptied as they arrived. "They should stay away from here," said one wholesaler, "They make us a target."

Malalai Ishak Zai

Malalai Ishak Zai, former MP. She is CEO of the Standard Water Company. "Buy Afghan mineral water!"

Haroun Mir

Haroun Mir, director of the Afghanistan Centre for Research and Policy Studies, with his fourteen month old son Lemar.

Daoud Sultanzoy

Former MP Daoud Sultanzoy. He says warlords and the Taliban will most probably take over in 2014 if all ISAF forces leave by then.

Children in Kabul city centre

Children in Kabul city centre

Kabul street scene

Kabul street scene

Renovated Ariana cinema

Renovated Ariana cinema

Movie poster

No Taliban influence here yet

Watching Tom and Jerry in a departure lounge at Kabul airport

Watching Tom and Jerry in a departure lounge at Kabul airport

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Goodness, that is one tough assignment. I'm interested in all the ethnic groupings we've persuaded to fight against the Taliban, on the grounds that with the USA and UK on their side, how can they loose? It's our 100% accuracy, 21st century weaponary. Never known to hit civilians by mistake. Now we're leaving how useful to them is our 'We'll ignore your poppy fields' and 'We'll help you with those rival tribes'?
    I don't doubt many of the 'rebels' in Libya will be wondering too, now, how much real long term use US-UK guarantees of support are. They are being prodded into an insurrection in the Tripoli area. To fight and perhaps die. So that the US-UK western writ can run.
    Kabul is bad news for them. Sultanzoy called it right.

  • Comment number 2.

    Fabulous photos, Hugh, which give such a sense of life in Kabul. It is good to see everyday life going on, even while it remains threatened by the terrorists' bombs. The comments from the market about the presence of US Army vehicles and the risks they present to the market users are disturbing.

    Yet the cheeky smiles of the young lads show that hope is alive.

    Thank you, as ever, for your wonderful sound pictures and these glorious photos.

  • Comment number 3.

    Afghanistan is a Feudal society. The Magna Carta at least allowed our War Lords to sleep better at night.

    Any hope within the next 100 years for a democratic Afghanistan will only be possible if the War Lords are happy with their piece of the cake -- and it is protected by law.

    Unfortunately the serfs will have nothing to say in this process -- as always.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/crime/who-owns-britain-biggest-landowners-agree-to-reveal-scale-of-holdings-443956.html

  • Comment number 4.

    Extraordinary interview with Karl Eikenberry Hugh. He didn't dodge the questions but credit to you for pointing out his body language when you asked him about 'seeking out' the Haqqani network.

    Did anyone else notice how he constantly referred to Hugh's name too? I think he felt a tad nervous.

    Great pic's as always. A reflection of life as it no doubt is.

  • Comment number 5.

    For various reasons I've been missing PM lately, however it's great to be able to catch up with Hugh's sensitive and illuminating reports on the blog. It's vital that we remember Afghanistan is about real people. Girls are being educated alongside boys again, people are allowed to laugh and lark about in public again, even sing! because of the intervention that ended the Taliban's stranglehold on the culture.

    However, it seems like the worst kind of folly to me, to announce when the international forces will leave and then stick to it. Isn't it obvious what will happen once the last foreign tank leaves?

    And if I am right (I so hope not!) then what has it all been for?

 

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