Bamiyan Celebrates SAARC’s Choice as Cultural Center

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Bamiyan Celebrates SAARC’s Choice as Cultural Center

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Bamyan province in central Afghanistan was formally introduced on Friday as the cultural capital of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for the year 2015.Bamyan province in central Afghanistan was formally introduced on Friday as the cultural capital of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) for the year 2015.

Senior government officials and foreign dignitaries attended the official ceremony in Bamyan city, where a statue had been unveiled earlier in the day by the CEO’s First Deputy Mohammad Mohaqiq.Senior government officials and foreign dignitaries attended the official ceremony in Bamyan city, where a statue had been unveiled earlier in the day by the CEO’s First Deputy Mohammad Mohaqiq.

Bamyan was home to the two giant Buddha statues that stood in their niches, carved out of the cliffs, for about 1,600 years. In 2001 the Taliban destroyed them using mortars and dynamite – leaving behind only the niches they once stood in.Bamyan was home to the two giant Buddha statues that stood in their niches, carved out of the cliffs, for about 1,600 years. In 2001 the Taliban destroyed them using mortars and dynamite – leaving behind only the niches they once stood in.

So Friday’s ceremony was a poignant one – attended by scores of officials and foreign dignitaries and televised live by TOLOnews across the country.So Friday’s ceremony was a poignant one – attended by scores of officials and foreign dignitaries and televised live by TOLOnews across the country.

First to take the podium and address the guests in attendance was Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish.First to take the podium and address the guests in attendance was Second Vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish.

He said that the decision to mark Bamyan as SAARC’s cultural center for 2015 is one of country’s biggest achievements in recent years. At the same time he called on SAARC members and other countries to help Afghanistan return Bamyan to its rightful place in history.He said that the decision to mark Bamyan as SAARC’s cultural center for 2015 is one of country’s biggest achievements in recent years. At the same time he called on SAARC members and other countries to help Afghanistan return Bamyan to its rightful place in history.

Danish however acknowledged that infrastructural development within the province had been slow in the past few years but said that hopefully the initiation of the Hajigak mine project would help create jobs for locals.Danish however acknowledged that infrastructural development within the province had been slow in the past few years but said that hopefully the initiation of the Hajigak mine project would help create jobs for locals.

He also used the opportunity to assure the country that government is committed to bringing about reforms and said provincial governors will be appointed soon.He also used the opportunity to assure the country that government is committed to bringing about reforms and said provincial governors will be appointed soon.

On the issue of national security he said it was proving a challenge this year but said government was doing everything possible to combat and eliminate insurgents.On the issue of national security he said it was proving a challenge this year but said government was doing everything possible to combat and eliminate insurgents.

He said government “does not want people to die under the shadow of peace talks.”He said government “does not want people to die under the shadow of peace talks.”

Second speaker of the day was Mohammad Mohaqiq, Second Deputy to Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.Second speaker of the day was Mohammad Mohaqiq, Second Deputy to Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah.

He simply stated that the once prized Buddha statues “were destroyed by ignorant people” adding that they had been one of the Wonders of the World.He simply stated that the once prized Buddha statues “were destroyed by ignorant people” adding that they had been one of the Wonders of the World.

Mohaqiq emphasized the importance of marking such an important day despite the issues faced by Afghanistan. But at the same time he called on the world to help curb the actions by extremists in the region.Mohaqiq emphasized the importance of marking such an important day despite the issues faced by Afghanistan. But at the same time he called on the world to help curb the actions by extremists in the region.

He said: “Extremism is a threat to the historical values of human civilization,” adding that Afghanistan was indeed having to deal with extremists.He said: “Extremism is a threat to the historical values of human civilization,” adding that Afghanistan was indeed having to deal with extremists.

On the issue of financial assistance, he said following the Bonn conference – that was held in 2001 in Germany and attended by 85 nations, 15 international organizations and the United Nations – millions of dollars was spent on Afghanistan. But, he said, this money had not always been wisely used. On the issue of financial assistance, he said following the Bonn conference – that was held in 2001 in Germany and attended by 85 nations, 15 international organizations and the United Nations – millions of dollars was spent on Afghanistan. But, he said, this money had not always been wisely used.

Without going into any further detail he touched on the issue of security in the region and said: “We should reach an understanding with our neighbors that the fire can burn in Afghanistan but one day it will spread to them.”Without going into any further detail he touched on the issue of security in the region and said: “We should reach an understanding with our neighbors that the fire can burn in Afghanistan but one day it will spread to them.”

He said that in line with this, Afghanistan’s neighbors need to help “put out this fire.”He said that in line with this, Afghanistan’s neighbors need to help “put out this fire.”

Acknowledging China’s recent moves to assist, he said the Chinese were helping Afghanistan financially and also helping with the peace talks initiative.Acknowledging China’s recent moves to assist, he said the Chinese were helping Afghanistan financially and also helping with the peace talks initiative.

He pointed out that the world knows full well that Daesh and other insurgent groups are becoming a global threat and said he hopes the world unites and works together to fight this insurgency.He pointed out that the world knows full well that Daesh and other insurgent groups are becoming a global threat and said he hopes the world unites and works together to fight this insurgency.

In conclusion he said government knows that electoral reforms are needed in order to build the people’s trust and improve democracy. On that note he said electoral officials need to be dismissed and new appointments need to be made.In conclusion he said government knows that electoral reforms are needed in order to build the people’s trust and improve democracy. On that note he said electoral officials need to be dismissed and new appointments need to be made.

The Senate’s first Deputy Mohammad Alam Izadyar also took to the podium and addressed the guests. He spoke only for a few minutes but took the opportunity to thank all involved for having earmarked Bamyan as the cultural centre of SAARC.The Senate’s first Deputy Mohammad Alam Izadyar also took to the podium and addressed the guests. He spoke only for a few minutes but took the opportunity to thank all involved for having earmarked Bamyan as the cultural centre of SAARC.

He did however, call on UNESCO to help maintain and preserve Bamyan province and asked that government and foreign countries also help develop the province.He did however, call on UNESCO to help maintain and preserve Bamyan province and asked that government and foreign countries also help develop the province.

Friday’s ceremony is a poignant moment in Afghanistan’s history as it marks the recognition of what was once testimony to the country’s rich and ancient heritage.Friday’s ceremony is a poignant moment in Afghanistan’s history as it marks the recognition of what was once testimony to the country’s rich and ancient heritage.

But in 2001, the Taliban destroyed the two gigantic Buddha statues that had stood their ground for about 1,600 years. Standing tall in their niches cut in the cliffs flanking the remote Bamyan valley, one measured 35 meters high and the second stood at 55 meters high.But in 2001, the Taliban destroyed the two gigantic Buddha statues that had stood their ground for about 1,600 years. Standing tall in their niches cut in the cliffs flanking the remote Bamyan valley, one measured 35 meters high and the second stood at 55 meters high.

The smaller of the two was referred to as Shamama (Queen Mother), while the larger of the two was Salsal (light shines through the universe). This had been the largest standing Buddha statue in the world at the time.The smaller of the two was referred to as Shamama (Queen Mother), while the larger of the two was Salsal (light shines through the universe). This had been the largest standing Buddha statue in the world at the time.

Source: TOLOnews

 

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