Qargha Lake revenue declines by 90pc
KABUL (Pajhwok): Following last month’s gang-rape incident in the Paghman district of Kabul, revenue from a popular tourist resort, the Qargha Lake, has declined by 90 percent, an official said on Wednesday.
Shafiqullah, in charge of boats at the dam, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the number of tourists had significantly dropped in the wake of the gang-rape outrage.
A 10-member gang allegedly looted passengers and sexually abused four women after intercepting vehicles on the main road in Paghman, a picturesque town west of the capital.
The women were returning from a wedding with their families on August 3, when the gang, some dressed in police uniforms, attacked them and rapped them in a nearby field. The victims were beaten and their jewelry and other valuables were stolen.
Police had arrested seven of the 10 accused. A primary court in Kabul sentenced the seven men to death, but the verdict has been challenged in a higher court.
Eng. Abdul Rahim, the main in-charge of the Qargha park, admitted the gang rap had frightened locals besides affecting tourism. He said earlier the park would remain open till midnight but "now people leave before dusk" for rescurity reasons.
The Qargha reservoir famous for its pleasant environment and many people visit the lake for boating and picnicking.
But Farid, a Kabul resident who was in the park with his wife, said: “We as a family feel secure in the park. Earlier we used to come here every 15 days, but after the gang rape, it is our first time to visit Qargha.”
Interior Ministry spokesman Siddiqui Siddique assured people that such incident would not recur in the future. He said it was the duty of police to provide security to tourists at all costs.
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