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Farah historical sites in a state of neglect

Farah historical sites in a state of neglect

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Jan 27, 2020 - 12:21

FARAH CITY (Pajhwok): Historical sites in western Farah province may be damaged if funds are not set aside for their maintenance and restoration, as no allocation was made for the purpose last year.

The Information and Culture Department says there are 144 historical sites across the province; but only 22 of them are registered with the department. But the Ministry of Information and Culture has not yet moved to rehabilitate them.

Sources in the province said the historical places have already been damaged as a result of rains and flash floods. They were under threat and need immediate attention.

Ghulam, 55, a resident of the 5th police district of Farah City, told Pajhwok Afghan News they had not seen restoration of these sites so far. All of the sites needed to be rehabilitated, he believed.

He blamed the ministry concerned for failing to take care of the historical sites and asked parliamentarians to push the relevant ministry to rehabilitate the sites.

Salmai, 26, another inhabitant, endorsed Ghulam’s view and said: “Our historical sites should be restored like those in Herat, Kabulinfo-icon, Ghazni and Bamyan provinces.”

She lamented that not a single historical site in the province had been rehabilitated so far.

Information and Culture Director Benyamin Bariz acknowledged complaints from residents as appropriate and called insecurity a huge hurdle to the restoration of the historical sites.

He named Qala-i-Fraidoon, Kafir Qala, Kak-i-Kohzad and Takht-i-Rustam as important sites in Farah province. Their restoration would help the economy of the province in terms of attracting tourists.

Bariz acknowledged the historical sites were in bad shape, warning the heritage would be destroyed if the ministry concerned and the UN Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization (UNESCO) continued to neglect them.

The official said: “We have repeatedly requested the Ministry of Information and Culture to dispatch professionals to the province to rehabilitate the sites. But our requests have received no response so far.”

He said these historical were sites not only ignored by the national unity government but also by previous rulers.

But Sabir Momand, spokesman for the ministry, said maintenance and rehabilitation of historical sites was the duty of the ministry.

Without going into details, he said funds were allocated for Farah’s historical sites in the 1399 budget. A team from the ministry would be sent to the province to assess the sites.

sa/mud

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