These images are included by courtesy of BBC Media Action, who recently recorded a TV debate, part of the Open Jirga series, in Qandahar. The programme was recorded beside the mausoleum of Ahmad Shah Abdali (later known as Ahmad Shah Durrani). Ahmad Shah served as a young general in the army of the Persian emperor, Nader Afshar. When the emperor was assassinated, Ahmad Shah declared the part of the empire over which he had responsibility as an independent country, thereby creating in 1747 the modern state of Afghanistan. Opposite the mausoleum stands the Khirqa-e Sharif, a shrine that houses a cloak believed to have belonged to the Prophet Mohammad. Brought to Qandahar from Bukhara in the mid-18th century, the cloak has only been taken out of the sanctuary on two occasions since.