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GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Left to right, Dr. Sayed Makhdoom Raheen, Minister of Information and Culture; Maciej Lang, Polish Ambassador to Afghanistan; and Muhammad Sadiq, Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan, leave the MI-8 HIP helicopter at Forward Operating Base Ghazni June 8 to drive to the Governor’s Compound in Ghazni City to learn about the progress for the 2013 Center for Islamic Culture. Because of Ghazni City’s rich past and historical landmarks, it was selected as the Asian capital of Islamic civilization for 2013 by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization at a conference in Tripoli, Libya, in 2007. Last month, the former Governor of Ghazni asked other Islamic countries to help fund the event, and the Pakistani Ambassador has already offered funding for some projects. (Photo by U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Katherine Roling, Ghazni Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)

GHAZNI PROVINCE, Afghanistan – Highlighting the importance of Ghazni’s selection as the 2013 Center for Islamic Culture, ambassadors from Poland and Pakistan, the Minster of Information and Culture and the acting Minister of Urban Development and Housing visited the Governor’s Compound in Ghazni City June 8 to speak to local officials and the governor of Ghazni.


The officials flew from Kabul to Forward Operating Base Ghazni where they were escorted by Task Force White Eagle, the Polish battle-space owner of Ghazni Province, and the Ghazni Provincial Reconstruction Team.

Because of Ghazni City’s rich past and historical landmarks, like the Citadel in Old Ghazni City, the Palace of Sultan Masood and the Minarets, it was selected as the Asian capital of Islamic civilization for 2013 by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization at a conference in Tripoli, Libya, in 2007.

Yasif Pashtun, acting Minister of Urban Development and Housing, spoke at the Governor’s compound, urging local officials to push the people to start on projects for 2013.

“Fifty projects are on the list so far for 2013,” Yasif Pashtun said. “They are mostly cultural projects, and there are private sectors that are responsible for the small projects, but the government can help. But we cannot do these projects alone. The people must help.

“We have a short time left until 2013; less than three years. I promise to get the work done before 2013,” he said.

Currently, the Afghan government has budgeted $10 million U.S. dollars for 2013, but the proposed project list was estimated at $200 million U.S. dollars.

The former Governor of Ghazni, Doctor Usman Usmani, requested assistance April 18 from other Islamic nations to fund projects for the future event.

The Pakistani Ambassador to Afghanistan, Muhammad Sadiq, said that Pakistan is willing to donate funds to help with the restoration of historical landmarks in Ghazni.

“Essentially, Pakistan is allocated $330 million U.S. dollars for development in Afghanistan, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is allocated additional sources,” Sadiq said in an interview after leaving the Governor’s compound. “We already have about 18 projects throughout Afghanistan.”

He felt that the private sector should help with the refurbishment of monuments and places of worship.

“Places of worship are almost always part of the private sector in Pakistan,” he said. “When the government is involved, it takes time for project approvals, procedures and the security situation.

“I think that a concentrated effort is required,” said Sadiq. “A campaign is required in which people in Afghanistan should be convinced that they should take ownership and do some projects.”

 

 

Last Updated on Friday, 11 June 2010 12:17
 

    

 


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