TIRINKOT (Pajhwok): Residents of central Uruzgan province say usurpers are still in control of some historical places and they should be driven away.
Abdul Shakoor Karimi, a resident of Dehrawud district, said a number of people in their area had grabbed historical sites and the government should pay attention to their protection and maintenance.
Qala Murcha, Sra Qala and Sulaiman Takht Dara are historical sites located in Dehrawud district.
Abdullah, a resident of Mehrabad area of Tirinkot, said there was a place called Kafir Qala which was 100 years old.
He said the historic site was built on a high and strategic area during the occupation of British India about a century ago.
According to Abdullah: “This fort is built on a 300-metre high hill, with several war towers, weapon stores, a place to keep horses and battle lines.”
However, he said land grabbing and construction of houses have been ongoing there for the past few years, damaging the value of the historic monument.
Similarly, Nimatullah, a resident of Sangar area of Chora district, said there were many historical places in their area, including Mazar spring, Tora spring and Niazo Tapa, some of which were on the verge of destruction.
He said historical areas were considered identity of a country and nation and asked the government to pay attention to the protection of such places.
Officials in Uruzgan also acknowledge people’s concerns, but assure that they are serious about preservation of historical places and monuments.
Uruzgan Information and Culture Director Qari Aghawali Qureshi told Pajhwok that 36 historical places were registered and they were committed to their safety and protection.
He said: “There is a special decree by Amirul Mominin regarding the preservation and protection of historical sites and areas, and it may have been distributed to all institutions.”
He added they will pay serious attention to the protection of all historical places in light of the leadership’s decree and will not allow anyone to harm them.
According to Qureshi, he has started working on a strategy together with the police headquarters and the Department of Agriculture to prevent usurpation and take necessary measures for protection of heritage sites.
The Department of Information and Culture assures that with the help of the relevant ministry and partner institutions, historical places and monuments of the province will be restored and protected.