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Bamiyan introduced as SAARC cultural capital

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The central Bamiyan province on Friday was officially announced as the cultural capital of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for 2015.

High ranking officials and foreign authorities attended the ceremony in Bamiyan city. Earlier in the day, a statue was unveiled by Mohammad Mohaqiq, the deputy chief executive.

The second vice-President, Mohammad Sarwar Danish, said it is a great moment for Afghanistan to witness such an event which marks Bamiyan as SAARC cultural center. “The SAARC members and other countries should help Afghanistan to bring Bamiyan back to its place in history,” he said.

He added that development process was going through a snail-paced process in the province and people are living a poor life but starting work on Hajigak coalmine project will create job opportunity for the locals.

Hinting at security situation, Danish said insecurity is the biggest hurdle for the government but they will leave no stone unturned to uproot insecurity and eliminate militants wherever they are.

On the same occasion, Mohammad Mohaqiq said the Buddha sculptures that were destroyed by a number of ‘ignorant people’, were one the Seven Wonders of the World at that time. “Such events are important for the country, irrespective of the fact that we are faced with several problems. The international community should help to curb the challenges, especially extremism,” he said, terming extremism as a threat to historical values of human civilization.

About security in the region, he said Afghanistan should reach an understanding with its neighbors as insecurity and restive in this country will be a threat to all regional states. “Our neighbors should help us to fight terrorism and eliminate it from this war-weary country,” he remarked.

Highlighting the recent moves of China towards Afghanistan, Mohaqiq said the Chinese government has provided financial support to Kabul and has helped the peace process to move forward.

The first deputy chief of the Senate, Mohammad Alam Izidyar, told the event that it is a good opportunity for the country that Bamiyan is named as SAARC cultural center. He called on UNESCO and the international community to support development process in the central province as it has remained distanced from uplift projects in past 14 years.

Bamiyan is the host of two gigantic Buddha sculptures which were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. The statues stood there for around 1,600 years.

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