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Bamyan as SAARC Cultural Capital: Official ceremony on Friday

AT-KABUL: Bamyan will be announced as the cultural capital of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) officially on Friday (today). To mark the event, officials from all SAARC member countries are taking part in the official ceremony going to be celebrated in Bamyan, today.

Fakori Behishti, an MP from Bamyan province, told media that his province is ready to host the national and international guests.

He termed the event very important for the country, and said that it would bring positive changes in political and economic spheres.

He said that Bamyan is relatively a backward province with immense tourism potentials.

According to Behishti, residents of Bamyan have supported the government in the past 13 years, and were happy to host the guests. He said that residents of the province eagerly anticipate the ceremony.

The lawmaker assured of foolproof security. He said that Afghan security forces in the province were on high alert to deal with any untoward situation, though the province is peaceful as compared to other parts of the country.

He said that guests would be treated in Afghan way of hospitality—making the guests feel as happy as possible.

The legislator said that Afghan members of the parliament and provincial councils, high-ranking officials, singers and others would attend the ceremony.

Speaking about the preparations, he said that hotels are ready to welcome the guests.

According to the provincial officials, the guests on Saturday will visit the Band-e-Ameer, one of prominent historical places in the province which was announced as “National Park” by the Afghan government.

It is expected that the SAARC member countries would strengthen the Bamyan tourism sector.

Bamyan was selected as the first SAARC Cultural Capital for 2015, which would bring more opportunities to the city.

The government had termed it an opportunity for Bamyan to generate considerable cultural, social and economic benefits and could also abet urban regeneration.

The government has planned dozens of programs and festivals that would be launched and organized in Bamyan. In addition to the inaugural and closing ceremonies, exhibitions, seminars, music and dance shows, arts and crafts workshops, literary festivals, food shows, screening of films and documentaries are planned.

Bamiyan was shot into prominence when the Taliban blew up two ancient statues of the Buddha in 2001. It was selected to be the SAARC cultural capital for a year beginning April 2015. Dhaka will be the SAARC cultural capital in 2016-17.

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