Afghan Journal

Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics

Afghan crisis had five-star lining for MPs



By Hamid Shalizi

For Afghanistan’s recently elected MPs, a political crisis that threatened to stop some of them ever taking up their seats had a silver lining – they all moved into a five star hotel.

Nearly all 249 MPs booked rooms in one of Kabul’s most luxurious hotels, the hill-top Intercontinental, after President Hamid Karzai said he would delay the inauguration of parliament by a month.

The government will foot the bill for the stay by an army of MPs and their families’ – with full board – at the $150 to $400 a night hotel, hotel sources said. The move was to ensure they were together at one place so they could make collective decisions about the inauguration crisis, MPs said.

So for a week the hotel, more often home to visiting business groups and once the top tourist lodging in the Afghan capital, was packed with parliamentarians.