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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Paghman: Yesterday and Today

File:Pagman arch - 08-12-2008.jpg
Canadian Soldier in front of the Victory Arch Paghman
A soldier
Ahh the good days of wearing green in a desert
In September 2003, Private Liam McGylnn of Charlie Company, 3 RCR Battalion Group (3 RCR Bn Gp), commences a foot patrol through the streets of Paghman, Afghanistan, as part of Operation ATHENA, Canada’s contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

I worked with the Embeded Training Team and the ANA in 2004 and got to see the town of Paghman
(just outside of Kabul) myself and  although destroyed you could see that it was once a jewel.
The Emperor Babur described Paghman as 'one of the most desirable places in Kabul' in the 16th century. During King Amanullah (1919-1929), it was made summer capital and many beautiful public buildings and palaces were built under his auspices, with the assistance of European gardeners, architects and sculptors. Paghman was a favorite place for many people and it was a picnic venue for Afghans and tourists.

But in the past decades of war, like other riches of Afghanistan, Paghman also lost its beauty and was changed into the stronghold of a fundamentalist criminal warlord Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf. From 1992-96, in the inter-fundamentalists fighting many of the buildings in Paghman were destroyed. People of Paghman are still deeply suffering under the inhuman rule of Sayyaf and his brutal gunmen.

Here we present a collection of photos taken in the past and compare it with the photos taken in 2004 by RAWA.

Read more: http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/rawagallery.php?mghash=dc96d38caecd6694eb17fc894bb73212&mggal=5#ixzz1aekq3SQG


  1. One day in 2003 we patrolled as far west as we could go through Paghman. At the foot of the mountains we parked beside a big stream in the shade of some trees.
    There was plenty of green grass and trees near the stream. As we ate our lunch lots of locals were also enjoying the area. We watched a few park their cars in the stream and wash them. Some folks were also enjoying lunch on the grass near the stream. It was the first place I seen in that country that was nice and peaceful and healthy. But it was short lived and we were soon back in the feces pile that is Kabul. We never got a chance to go back, it was one of only a few places I almost felt relaxed at over there.