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Updated on: Sunday, September 12, 2021, 11:08 PM IST

Afghanistan: Taliban finds home in glitzy Kabul mansion of former vice president Abdul Rashid Dostum

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Taliban have taken over the glitzy Kabul mansion of one of their fiercest enemies -- the warlord and former vice-president Abdul Rashid Dostum who was forced to flee last month as the Islamists were swept to power.

Dostum’s regal mansion in Kabul is a feast for the eyes with lavish chandeliers, opulent decorations and wall-to-wall carpet. It also contains a spa, an indoor swimming pool, a Turkish bath and a huge tropical greenhouse. It is here that 150 Taliban fighters have made themselves home, even as they claim they will shun a luxurious life.

The luxury found within the mansion would be unimaginable for most ordinary Afghans. Along an endless corridor with a thick apple-green carpet, exotic fish glide above in huge fish tanks, while plants sprout in a tropical greenhouse spanning several hundred square feet, reports Daily Mail.

But the new head of the household - now the military commander of four provinces - makes it clear his men will not get used to the luxury. Qari Salahuddin Ayoubi insists that the Taliban will never live in such decadent surroundings. ‘‘Islam never wants us to have a luxurious life,’’ he told AFP, adding luxury comes in paradise, ‘'the life after death'’.

Dostum is widely suspected to have hugely profited from the corruption and embezzlement that discredited the former government. A former paratrooper, communist commander, warlord and vice president, he was the very definition of a cunning political survivor who weathered over four decades of conflict in war-torn Afghanistan.

The new regime will not allow such luxury to be built with ill-gotten gains in the future, says Commander Ayoubi. ‘‘We are on the side of the poor.’’

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Published on: Sunday, September 12, 2021, 11:08 PM IST
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