Info ministry accused of ignoring Sar-i-Pul
SAR-I-PUL (PAN): Officials of Sar-i-Pul on Saturday accused the Ministry of Information and Culture of ignoring the central province, where cultural activities have long come to a standstill.
In an exclusive interview with Pajhwok Afghan News, Director of Information Abdul Qudus alleged the ministry failed every year to utilise its annual budget -- to the detriment of provincial departments.
Due to sheer neglect over the past two years, historical sites in Sar-i-Pul had been at the risk of being destroyed, he complained, saying his department lacked resources even for routine activities.
They were faced with a whole host of problems such as a proper office building, non-payment of rent and a shortage of vehicles, as well as fuel, the director said. The situation affected staff performance, he argued.
Last year’s rent of 360,000 afghanis was yet to be cleared by the ministry, the official revealed, remarking: “In Sar-i-Pul, we have an information department in name only. We have done nothing worth remembering.”
Despite a string of calls from different quarters, the ministry had no plan yet to set up a library in the provincial capital, much to the chagrin of culturists, Fahim said.
Resident Mohammadullah Haqbin also lashed out at the department’s failure to arrange poetic sessions or promote the local media. The state-controlled TV briefly remained on the air only at night to telecast news.
“The ministry should treat Sar-i-Pul like other provinces and take effective measures to promote cultural activities here,” Haqbin observed, explaining 20 registered ancient sites needed reconstruction and preservation.
Tarpach fort, Sozma court, Bala Hesar mound, Angusht Bacha, Kafir Kala, Dukhtar Shah, Imam Kalan, Hazrat-i-Khezr and Pasta Mazar shrines are popular ancient places in the area.
Residents and warlords have built markets around Bala Hesar, damaging site, he maintained. Generally speaking, all ancient places need reconstruction but the authorities do not have the resources.
Ministry’s advisor, Jalal Noorani confirmed the problems, including inadequate budget for the department and lack of a proper building. He blamed the government for setting aside small budgets for preserving ancient places.
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