ads

New Bid to Rid Kabul of Security Walls

Kabul Municipality has decided to dismantle all the security barriers surrounding the government and non-government facilities.  Whether this move will succeed remains a real question that Killid explores.   Kabul Municipality has decided to dismantle all the security barriers surrounding the government and non-government facilities.  Whether this move will succeed remains a real question that […]

نویسنده: TKG
28 Aug 2010
New Bid to Rid Kabul of Security Walls

Kabul Municipality has decided to dismantle all the security barriers surrounding the government and non-government facilities.  Whether this move will succeed remains a real question that Killid explores.

 

Kabul Municipality has decided to dismantle all the security barriers surrounding the government and non-government facilities.  Whether this move will succeed remains a real question that Killid explores.

The ubiquitous presence of security barricades in Kabul city have resulted in the city’s resemblance to a military compound, with vast stretches of roads cordoned off for barricades and many major arteries themselves completely blocked for civilian traffic. With the international community and Kabul’s powerful elite barricading themselves behind closed doors, cement bollards, barbed wire and barricaded streets, Kabul’s denizens have almost been turned into second class citizens.

The gesture, if implemented, would win accolades for the government ahead of the September 18 parliamentary elections. However it is likely that security measures including barricades would be increased in the run-up to the elections. During the high profile Kabul Conference held on July 20, central Kabul was completely shut down and inaccessible to the public with all roads blocked to civilian traffic.

Earlier attempts to remove these barricades have failed with some international organizations even threatening to leave the country if they are forced to dismantle the security barriers. This time, say officials, the process will begin with Afghan government buildings and residence of government officials.

Determined to act

According to the mayor of Kabul, Engineer Mohammad Younus Nawandish, the decision to remove barricades was taken on August 21 and will be implemented universally regardless of the nature of the organization or how powerful or high-profile the individual is. “Based on the presidential decree, the security barriers will be removed from the entire Kabul city starting with government organizations” he said.

The decision will be implemented by the police and the Minister of Interior General Bismillah Khan will oversee the process himself. The security commander of Kabul, Abdul Rahman Rahman said that all security organizations had the responsibility of supporting the decision which had been backed by a presidential decree.  Anyone not obeying the order would face legal action in accordance with the decree and the law regulating public property such as roads.

People have welcomed the decision to remove the barriers which causes great inconvenience to them. The barriers have been slowing the traffic flow in some areas whereas in other areas the public is completely denied access. Matiullah, a Kabul resident who was observing employees of the Ministry of Interior and Kabul Municipality dismantle some of the security barriers, expressed joy and said it was a good move that should be applied to the entire city. He himself has seen many disruptions caused by the security barriers. People use roads as sidewalks  because security barriers were put on the sidewalks preventing their usage, he says. “If the security barriers are removed from roadsides, the people will not have to walk on the main road itself, something that affects the traffic flow and can cause accidents.”

Gul Alam, another resident, reaches work late because of the security barriers.  On the one hand, the commuters waste valuable time, and, on the other, a fortune is spent on the security barriers themselves. “Why not spend the money on something useful instead of security barriers?” He points to another problem caused by security barriers. “If a serious patient is being carried to a hospital through the city, he or she has to wait for hours due to heavy traffic, which could result in his or her death.”

Security threat to diplomats and elite

Despite the threat of legal action against organizations refusing to have their security barriers removed, there are doubts whether diplomatic premises, embassies and houses belonging to power-brokers will comply with the process. Engineer Abbas Noyan, a member of the Afghan Parliament says there are two issues related to this move. Firstly, security officials are unable to ensure security without the security barriers. Secondly, the embassies use the security barrier to prevent intrusions.  If the security organizations could provide security, these organizations including diplomatic premises would be willing to comply with the order, he says. Noyan does not believe the government will be able to fully implement the plan. He is convinced that if the process doesn’t apply to all organizations, there is little hope that there will be an end to the problem.

For the moment there seems to be no alternate solution. “We have talked to all the local and international organizations using security barriers so that we can figure out a solution to the problem”, says Nawandish.

Most citizens however believe that politicians and government officials should have a sense of trust toward the people and society and create an atmosphere of security for themselves.

“The politicians and government officials living in the capital are not facing any security threats and the fact that they have put security barriers around their houses indicates their lack of trust in the people” says Noorullah, a student at Ibne Sina School. The residents of the capital city emphasize that the process should apply to all and demand that other ways should be sought to protect high-profile government and non-government facilities.

 

Follow TKG on Twitter & Facebook
Design & Developed by Techsharks - Copyright © 2021

Copyright 2020 © TKG: A public media project of DHSA