In the name of Almighty Allah the most Beneficent the most Merciful
Dear participants, distinguished guests, religious scholars, university professors, Mujahidin, honorable people of Bamyan, Ladies and gentlemen!
First of all, I would like to welcome the distinguished guests in particular Ms. Savitri reprehensive of SAARC’s secretariat, her partner delegation and the state members, diplomats of the friendly countries, as well as members of the Cabinet, Members of the Parliament, ministers, Deputy Ministers, Governors, provincial councils members, chiefs and chairmen of national and international organizations, Army Generals, officers, political parties, civil societies and socio-cultural institutions for participating at this magnificent cultural festival. On behalf of the government of Afghanistan, I would like to thank the international organization of SAARC and its member states for announcing Bamyan as cultural capital of SAARC. I also thank the Ministry of Information and Culture of Afghanistan, and the institutions that helped for organizing this event including Bamyan local authorities and the Acting Governor of Bamyan that worked day to night for holding of this festival especially merchants and construction campiness who decorated and have taken part in asphalting Banyan’s eternal roads. I also thank the people of Bamyan for their warm hospitality and constant assistance to the national security forces. And especial thanks to the national security organs that because of their endless efforts we are having a Bamyan that is stable, secure, and free from violence and fear. Your sacrifices and patriotism are highly appreciated.
I am also using this opportunity to present you all the warm salutes and great aspirations of Dr. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, the President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, as he could not attend this event due to his official works.
Distinguished participants! Honorable guests!
After last year’s announcement of Ghazni as the cultural Capital City of the Islamic World, SAARC’s Cultural Festival is one of the most important cultural events of our country in recent years. Such programs, besides exploration of Afghanistan’s well-status in international community, facilitates cultural exchange and contribution to the reconstruction and development of deprived areas, are very important for promotion of national values and strengthening of the national unity in the country. celebration of Ghanzi or Bamyan is not only for Ghazni and Bamyan, but also it is celebration of Ghoor, Mazar, Badakhshan, Kandahar and finally it is the celebration of all Afghanistan’s history, culture and old civilization of this land. Declaration of Bamyan as cultural capital of SAARC not only respect’s Bamyan but it also respects history and culture of Afghanistan. We must know that our historic country has a glorious history and civilization, therefore, I would like to congratulate the opening of the festival of Bamyan as SAARC’s cultural capital not only to people of Afghanistan, but also to His Excellency the President of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, government and all respected and honorable people of the 34 provinces of the country.
Dear Audience; as you may know that the day before yesterday it was the environment day I congratulate you this occasion as well. It is to consider that SAARC is one the largest regional international organizations, where demographically includes about 1.5 milliard population of the world. It was established on 8 December 1985 and the SAARC’s member states are the following 8 countries: India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri-Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan which the membership of Afghanistan was approved on April, 2007. The perennial secretariat of SAARC is located in Katmandu the capital of Nepal, a friend country of Afghanistan. We have historical common point together; Buddha was born in Lumbini city of Nepal, where 40 days ago a serious earthquake has gotten thousands of people’s lives. However 40 days past from that disaster, but today in the prescience of the festival, I would like to show my sympathy and express my condolence on behalf of Government and our nation and Bamyan people to the Nepal’s government and it is great nation.
Using the opportunity I would like to point out the four following historical issues:
Frist – Status and Historical Greatness of Bamyan
In ancient history, Bamyan played a great role as the bright moon of east and as a shining diamond amongst human civilizations before Islam as the pilgrimage of thousands of people and a source of intuition, culture, and civilization. During the reign of great emperor Kanishka, Bamyan was not only the main transit way of Silk Road (Jad-e-Abrishum) and the commercial junction of the world, but also the center of growth and cultural exchanges at global level. It was a cultural realm where a large number of people were living (today’s SAARC region countries). There are a lot of ancient and historic cities in Bamyan such as Zuhak, Ghulghula, Shahi, Bala-Hesar, Gowhar-geen, Chil-Borja –e Yakowlang (40 tower of Yakowlang district) and the historic sculptures of Buddha’s idols which are unique in the world and are indications for creativity, high culture and glory of the civilization in this large historical land.
Furthermore, a natural attraction of Bamyan absorbs tourism and tourists that could be counted as a good source of income for the country. The beautiful and green valleys like Foladi, Ahangaran, Sumara, Band Amir (Afghanistan’s National Park) that are full of cultural and historical creativities that have extra ordinary beautiful water-ponds that irrigate a vast parts of the country.
Bamyan historically has always been the port of peace, security, and devout and political tolerance with full human resource that from last generation to generation could fight against transgressions and have defended from their homeland appropriately and in a brave manner.
The civilized, polite and peaceful people of Bamyan appeared praise image from Bamyan to world and domestically they are peace stabilizers and flexible survive builders.
Bamyan in its contemporary history was a hideout against Russian Soviet army and one the main axis of resistance against barbarous and international terrorism and is proud to be provenance and center of appearance of a large movement of advocacy, justice and squeal of unity country-wide by chairmanship of Martyred Ustad Abdul Ali Mazari and his colleagues.
However, the peace and reconstruction enemies of this country along their other criminal acts have committed the worst crime against culture in Bamyan aiming to strikeout the historical sculptures of Buddha’s idols and lied down apart of Afghanistan identity under dust on late 1999, but historical and cultural identity of Bamyan routed as much as not only in Afghanistan but in the region and the whole world celebrates from Bamyan now. Today Afghanistan and overall the world countries proudly declares Bamyan as cultural capital of the SAARC.
We in the meanwhile strongly appreciate and regard to the SAARC’s decision on selecting Bamyan as cultural capital of SAARC. We expect and request from SAARC association and other international and regional collogues for more co-operation for bringing back the Bamyan schema in accordance to the need of current time and rehabilitation of real status of Bamyan.
Second – Commitments of the National Unity Government to Bamyan province and central region
I’m very happy being in this festive and historic occasion, on behalf Afghanistan government in particular on behalf of His Excellency Mr. President Mohmmad Ashraf Ghani today. Once gain I would like to remind the commitments to the people of Afghanistan especially central region and Bamyan people and; emphasize on its application. In fact, in some parts of the country including Hazarajat, unfortunately due to extreme deprivation in this regions and the difficulty of working in this area, has been less progress and development. Despite this fact Bamyan people have joined the Disarmament Demobilization Reintegration (DDR) process and put their guns and used the abilities to protect national procedures, in initial years of new government and presences of international community in Afghanistan. For the first time transfer of security responsibility was performed in Bamyan but the process of reconstruction and development in these areas has moved slow. Fortunately, today we are all in the National Unity Government (NUG) resolve to change this situation.
The new public projects which I would like to emphasize on are north, south, and east, west highways and roads. Luckily the projects of Doshi –Bamyan and Dara-e-Sof–Bamyan also Gardan-e-Diwal are in progress. The implementation of national projects is not only rescuing Bamyan from natural fences but also bring extensive changes to survive, even for establishment of inter-communication business at country level.
Another project that could extremely change and impact the people’s destiny is exploration and extraction of Hajigak iron mine and new enacted mines of central region. Hajigak iron mine in addition to job creating for Afghan people has railway that connects Afghanistan to China, Central Asia and North as well. The Government decides to do the procurement and implementation procedures of Hajigak’s iron mine extraction very soon. Along these national projects, the Government tries in establishment of local projects that impacts for bringing positive changes to people’s lives. Linking to this issue it is better to remind that recently the national procurement committee have assessed and evaluated 124 large contracts with a grand total of 24 milliard AFs the 82 contracts out of 124 contracts with grant total of 13 milliard AFs have proved and it’s procurement procedures have been started and maximum parts of aforesaid amount in addition to Health Services, Education, Water and Energy, Railway and so on, are allocated to road construction.
Third – Administrative Reforms Requirements
Obviously all aforesaid projects implementation are impossible without administrative reforms. Corrupted former administrative system termite lives and the lives of the Afghan people have fallen, as our parties and one of the greatest challenges of the government. But I can assure you that the government to make changes and comprehensive reforms and fighting corruption will be a serious decision. But I can assure that the government strongly decided to fight corruption and to bring a comprehensive changes and reforms. In addition to introducing of defense minster the Supreme Court and General Attorney chiefs introduction all provincial governors will be appointed and by the accomplishment of cabinet members and ring of state and government the next changes will happen soon. Without any doubt the secret of Afghanistan administration reform is not exchange of individual, reforms and changes should be applied to the basement of Afghan government institutions, law and regulation and applied mechanism are main and important factors of reforms. We hope to success on them in this short time. Relevant to this issue our ministers are presenting their first one hundred days Action Plan. In order to improve governance and prevent corruption and change in people’s lives and the process of good governance has been set.
Fourth – Peace and Security
It is important to talk about the big challenge of Afghan people “the peace and security” Unfortunately, it must be admitted that this year the security situation in the country is faced with challenges. Every day in addition of civilians, our security forces sacrifices their lives for protection of our beloved country, in war against international terrorism.
Considering the new situation of the country, it was farsighted for us therefore, the government tries not only to prevent insecurity, but also to completely strikeout the enemies of Afghanistan.
In the meanwhile, we accept peace as an essential need of Afghanistan and whole region. We expect all our neighboring countries that they must consider Afghanistan’s stability are their own. But nevertheless allows more victimization of our civilians under the peace shadows. We do not let any one make Afghanistan altar fever of our people as the Excellency President stated; “ we do not sit on negotiation from weak position, we do response punches with punches” today on eve of National festival I wants to assure you that Afghanistan enemies are already defeated and couldn’t do anything to us. As far as there are strong will and intention in both leadership level of government and security forces level and local levels of country, we never let Afghanistan enemy an opportunity to spread subversive activities. I warn those who, have flirted and are terrorists handicaps that seldom do spread subversion activities its people, and know that by committing such acts you do not reach the goal.
Finally once again I appreciate all distinguished guests and the hospitalities of honored people of Bamyan and the local authorities and well organized oppression of security forces, as well as ministers, deputies, chiefs who came form Kabul wishing them along their official programs for festival visit the local authorities of Bamyan to evaluate the peoples petitions and will of Bamyan people and give appropriates responses for solution. I request form the honorable people of Bamyan, civil society, university professor, religious scholars, and cultural activists and women societies to submit their demands from sectorial ministries and central institutions and local authorities, which by getting this opportunities I could follow up your demands as well.