Called mini-Pentagon, Defence Ministry building inaugurated
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah on Monday inaugurated a newly-constructed building for the Ministry of Defence nicknamed “Mini Pentagon” in Kabul.
Constructed on the pattern of Pentagon, work on the five-storey structure -- launched in 2009 -- was recently completed at a total cost of $200 million.
The 34-metre high building has 750 rooms, 340 offices, three lobbies, a conference hall, health clinics, military courts, fire brigade and offices for nearly 3,000 employees of the ministry.
With the US and Germany respectively offering $152 million and 48 million for the project, the new building is equipped with security cameras and other modern facilities.
President Ghani told the inauguration ceremony the new building would help strengthen, improve and professionalise the Afghan forces and provide them facilities of higher quality at the regional level.
He said the international community had close cooperation with Afghanistan to achieve common goals and serve mutual interests.
While praising sacrifices of security forces, the president said: “we are in peace because of the sacrifices of our youth on the battlefield to preserve the freedom of the country.”
Ghani hailed the Afghan National Army as a symbol of unity and had a high morale, but there were still problems. He said the struggle of security forces was preventing the country from being divided into two parts.
He also insisted on strengthening of the Afghan air force, saying India had provided four attack helicopters to Afghanistan and the first war plane pledged by the US government would reach Afghanistan in next three weeks.
Acting Defence Minister Masoom Stanikzai thanked the international community for supporting the Afghan forces. He said there were challenges, but the Afghan army was being further improved and equipped.
“As we enter the new building, it gives us the impression of a modern force in the world.” A newly-constructed building for the Ministry of Interior was also inaugurated.
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