A number of shopkeepers of Khair Khaw market in Nader Pashtoon road in their conversations with The Kabul Times reporter claimed that the fire fighters failed to extinguish fire quickly and slow reaction of fire fighters caused all goods and commodities in the market to be razed to the ground. On Thursday evening fire, over 1000 shops of mainly electronics equipments were destroyed.
The Kabul Times reporter writes, I am now in Nader Pashtoon road. Its still closed for traffic. All the confused shopkeepers are walking anxiously up and down over their wasted equipments. I tried to talk to some shopkeepers but due to extreme anxiety they are reluctant to talk to media. Ultimately after half an hour, I managed to interview few of them.
Mohammad Rasool Siddiqi who was extremely upset, said, Khair Khaw market was one of the biggest commercial centers in which electronics including cellphones, Lap tops, and etc were supplied from the world acknowledged companies. Unfortunately it was burnt.
He added, huge capitals were invested there by our national traders and shopkeepers. Each shop paid Afs 80000 taxes per year to the government. The fire was so strong that didn’t let us to rescue our properties. Some of the rescued goods were plundered by people and police. Beside our equipments, the shopkeepers’ cashes including multi-million dollars were also burnt. Five big trade markets were destroyed. The fire was inflaming for over three hours.
According to him, their representatives talked with concerned government authorities to help them but no step has been taken yet.
He said, the reason of fire is not clear. If the government doesn’t support them, they would probably transfer their investment abroad.
Ghulam Rassol a shopkeeper from Farah said, I am sorry. Police and locals availed the opportunity, attacked us like wild Wolves and plundered rest of our rescued properties.
He added, it was beyond police capability. The people entered market prior police setup a cordon and pillaged goods. In our shop we were fur partners. I had loaned US 140000 and invested there. Prior to repay my loan, the shop was burnt. Now I am astonished, what to do? And how compensate the damage.
Mohammad Ibrahim Rasaoli, chairman of Electronics Companies Union said, all our properties were razed to the ground. We don’t know to whom complain?
Shadab another shopkeeper clarified, I saw with my own eyes that a number of fire fighters and local police instead to extinguish fire, cordon the area and ensure security, resorted to plundering and pillaging.
Other shopkeepers claim that their documents including saving books, passports, IDs, and deeds were all burnt.
The MoI authorities said that they have started assessments to identify the plunderers and pillagers.
Acting Kabul Mayor Shoaib Rahim considers construction problems in big markets in the capital as the main reason behind such devastating incidents.
He added, we plant to assess all similar constructions to prevent such tragedies.