29 July, 2021

A King Italycised

Even if Zahir Shah returns to his homeland, from Italy, the only option for him would be to return to the system of constitutional monarchy.

A King Italycised
L'Olgiata is an exclusive suburban village of Rome. Here posh villas have doormen who screen cars driving in. But the security isn't obtrusive; it isn't comparable to the ring of expressionless secret servicemen that surrounds politicians. Till a fortnight back, Romans knew of L'Olgiata as the village they had to pass through, after negotiating snarling traffic jams, on their Sunday trips to Bracciano lake. None could have indeed imagined that in one of the villas, behind lush trees and overlooking manicured lawns, lived an old man who could hold the key to international efforts for bringing a semblance of order to Afghanistan, a country racked by ruin and devastation and Islamic fundamentalism.

Welcome to L'Olgiata, welcome to the village which is home to the deposed King of Afghanistan, Mohammed Zahir Shah. The terrorist attacks of September 11 in the US has prodded L'Olgiata out of its slumber. It is no longer the village you passed through; here the representatives of the European Union and the United Nations come calling. It is the port of call for Italian government...

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