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Bamyan to officially be inaugurated as SAARC Cultural Capital 2015

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Bamyan to officially be inaugurated as SAARC Cultural Capital 2015

All preparations are taken to officially inaugurate Bamyan as the first cultural capital of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for 2015, part of the organization initiatives to accelerate member states’ social development, an official said Monday.
In an exclusive interview with The Kabul Times, Sayed Mossadeq Khalili, the deputy information and culture minister on cultural affairs assured of a two-day grand secure ceremony to be held by the end of this week in the historic city of Bamyan to officially inaugurate the province as the SAARC Cultural Capital in 2015.
With an overall Sough Asian nations’ cooperation, the Ministry of Information and Culture (MoIC) is now on to celebrate Bamyan’s status as the first SAARC Cultural Capital, parts of the organization’s programs to declare each of the member states’ historic city as cultural capital annually, Khalili said.
The deputy minister went on as saying that the decision was made by the SAARC Cultural Ministers Conference through launching broad study into the ancient and historic cities of the member countries, where fortunately Bamyan owned the title of cultural capital, after a SAARC delegation’s visit to the city later in June 2014.
“The city would officially be inaugurated and declared as the First SAARC Cultural Capital, as all member states’ cultural ministers have been invited to attend the inaugural ceremony, said Khalili who added around 11 of the invitees including India, Sri Lanka, officials from SAARC Secretariat and SAARC cultural center have confirmed of their participation so far.
“The declaration certificate of Bamyan as SAARC cultural capital was submitted by SCC director to Sayed Makhdoom Raheen, former MoIC minister in June of 2014” adding that later an inter-ministerial commission was held under the decree of the former president to further accelerate the preparation and implementation of projects in Bamyan.
“In our meeting with SAARC Cultural Center officials in Colombo of Sri Lanka, it was decided to implement around 10 programs in Bamyan, including inaugural and closing events for the year 20l5,” said Khalili adding six of them (Participatory) directly supported financially by the SAARC member countries, while another five including art and cultural ones (non-participatory), remained materially provided within the organization and would be submitted to the ministry so that to be displayed in the opening ceremony.
Different art and recreational programs, including Sham-e-Ghazal (Lyric Evening) Ghulghula City—(under similar Art Evening) and local sports would be displayed and various local foods, handicrafts from different provinces are on hand to be exhibited through numerous erected tents and built booths during the two-day ceremony, the deputy minister continued.
“The attendees would also be provided with tours to the historical sites, including Band-e-Amir (Amir Dam), Ghulghula City, Zahak City,” said Khalili, adding that this would help the visitors get full familiarity with the province’s rich cultural and historical assets.
When asked if the commission member ministries have so far run their projects in the province, the deputy minister said the ministries of Rehabilitation and Rural Development (MRRD), Public Work, Education, Women Affairs and some others have pledged to carry out their projects in 2015, while some others committed to kick off their schemes from the beginning of next year.
Khalili assured of a guaranteed security to be ensured in the province, where the senior deputy interior minister on security affairs was on the lead for providing a secure atmosphere under which the glorious event in coordination with other security organs could be organized.
He reminded the government of national unity (NUG)’s enough attention to the SAARC issue repeatedly discussed in the cabinet meetings, tasking all security organs for tightening security of the ceremony in which all SAARC cultural ministers, alongside visitors from vast number of organizations and entities would take part.
To conclude with, the deputy minister expressed optimism about the cooperation of the Bamyan people, including civil society, religious scholars and elders, whom he praised to be enjoying of high cultural dimension and hoped they could continue sparing no efforts with the ministry led commission to peacefully organize the splendorous.
The SAARC organization with eight member states including Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka summons annual conferences for declaring each of its historic cities as cultural capital.