Herat mayor denies preventing concert
HERAT CITY (PAN): The mayor, escorted by security guards, prevented an overnight concert in Herat City, the capital of western Herat province, singers alleged on Thursday.
Arsh Barz, who led the singers’ group, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had been allowed by the governor's house to give a concert at the Jalaluddin Balkhi mausoleum on Wednesday night. He obtained permission three days ago.
But Mayor Mohammad Salim Tarakai came along with 16 gunmen and threw out their instruments and forced the audience, including senior provincial government officials, to leave the venue, the singer claimed.
Barz spoke to Pajhwok in the presence of government officials and public representatives, including the provincial council chief, but no one supported him.
For his part, Tarakai insisted the concert was not allowed because the venue had already been booked for a programme marking the death anniversary of former civil aviation minister Mirwais Sadiq, a son of Energy and Water Minister Ismail Khan.
Barz said the concert was to celebrate the Persian new year and spring. He claimed incurring financial setbacks due to arrangement costs. He said the mayor had asked them to leave. He closed the doors and used abusive language, the singer alleged.
Provincial Information and Culture Director Arya Rofyan refused to comment, arguing he had not been consulted on the concert.
The mayor said the incident involved no violence and the singers were requested to shift their programme to another place. He added the move was aimed at preventing possible terror acts.
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