MAZAR-I-SHARIF (SW) – The city of Mazar-i-Sharif is usually bustling with local and international tourists at this time of year, but this year it is much calm and quite.
Usually, musical concerts, sports competitions and other entertainment programs commence days before the Nauroz, New Year. With only a couple of days left to Nauroz, no significant presence of the guests can be felt here.
Many believe this is mainly due to the recent rift created over the appointment of new police chief here.
A number of Balkh residents told Salam Watandar their friends and family members from different parts of the country usually used to visit them on this occasion, but not this time.
Mohammad Afzal Haded, chairman for the provincial council, said in this regard that the persistent situation has left negative impacts on the preparations for Nauroz. He, however, stressed the provincial administration is determined to compensate that with extra efforts.
Spokesman for the provincial police headquarters, Aadil Shah Aadil, has assured the security forces would strive to ensure peace and security with a three-tier security plan.
Head of the Nauroz festival management committee, Saleh Mohammad Khaleeq, head of the directorate of information and culture, said a variety of events such as books exhibitions, sports competitions, poetry and musical festivals would be organized on this occasion.