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Mausoleum of King Amanullah Khan on brink of collapse

Mausoleum of King Amanullah Khan on brink of collapse

Mar 31, 2011 - 11:24

JALALABAD (PANinfo-icon): The mausoleum of King Amanullah Khan, the hero of the third Afghan-Anglo war who brought independence to Afghanistaninfo-icon, has cracks and is on the brink of collapse.

The graves of Khan, his parents and his sister are near the former king’s palace in the heart of Jalalabad city, provincial capital of eastern Nangarhar province.

The mausoleums of Khan, Amir Habibullah Khan, Queen Surya and Princess Shafiqa Seraj which were built in 1959 have severe cracks in the roof and could soon collapse.

Lal Pacha Azmoon, a writer and culturalist, said special and urgent attention needed to be paid to the historical monuments.

The body of Khan, who died in Zurich in 1960, was brought back by the country's last king Zahir Shah, and buried in Amir Shaheed gardens near the governor's office in Jalalabad.

Other countries protect their historic monuments and mausoleums of their heroes, and so should the Afghan government, Azmoon said. He called for the monuments to be renovated and for a decree to be issue that prevented other people being buried in the area.

Aurang Samim, the head of the information and culture department in Nangarhar province, said they had alerted the ministry to the state of the mausoleum and asked for a professional assessment team.

However, the head of the historic monuments department at the Ministry of Information and Culture in Kabulinfo-icon, Abdul Ahad Abbasi, said they had not received a report about the mausoleum and there had been no complaints.

The ministry will send a delegation after they receive a report, he said.

The governor of Nangarhar, Gul Agha Sherzai, accused the ministry of negligence in failing to protect historic monuments.

Sherzai said the palace of Seraj-ul-Amara, which was constructed in 1909 during the monarchy of Amir Habibullah Khan, was destroyed during the civil war and needed renovation.

He handed over the work on the palace to the Ministry of Information and Culture on the request of the former minister Abdul Karim Khuram.

However, two years have passed and the ministry still has not made any move to repair the palace, he said.

Sherzai said that he would start renovating the palace himself. First, he planned to carry out a survey of asphalting the roads to Amir Shaheed garden and Seraj-ul-Amara palace along with engineers from the municipality and some cultural experts.

 He promised to renovate the mausoleum of Khan and that of Amir Shaheed by Aug. 19, which coincides with Afghan Independence Day. 

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