Ghazni, Afghanistan, 4 Jumadil Akhir 1434/13 April 2013 (MINA) – Around 1.500 people (including representatives from the Islamic states, Afghan cabinet ministers, Afghan lawmakers and senators, high level government officials and other political figures) on Saturday (13/4) attended the festival to introduce eastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan as the capital of Islamic culture in the world of Islam.

       The festival has also been attended by Iranian and Tajikistan foreign minister along with the representatives and information and culture ministers of Islamic nations, Khaama Press report monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).

       However the participants strongly objected regarding the absence of Afghan president Hamid Karzai for not attending the festival.

       The media reported Strict security measures have been taken to control the security situation in Ghazni during the festival and local security officials are saying that further security forces from the other provinces of Afghanistan will be deployed in this province.

       Ghazni province was nominated as the cultural capital of Islamic world in 2007 by Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) for the year 2013 however Ghazni will be formally named as the cultural capital/center of the Islamic states during the festival today.

       Deputy provincial governor Mohammad Ali Ahmadi said around 1,500 foreign and local guests will attend the festival today.

       He said this is the preliminary festival which shows the start of 2013 and another festival will be organized at the end of the year to mark the end of the ceremony. Radio Free Europe report, on April 12, Afghan Cultural Minister Saied Makhdom Raheen invited the Taliban to also join the event. (T/P09/P03)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)

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