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Rahgozar Replaces Atta Noor As Balkh Governor: Source



(Last Updated On: March 13, 2018)

A senior member of Jamiat-e Islami party, Ishaq Rahgozar has been appointed as the new governor for the northern Balkh province, a government source confirmed to Ariananews Tuesday.

“Recently, the Presidential Palace has agreed on appointment of Ishaq Rahgozar for the governor of Balkh seat and the nomination of Farhad Azimi and Mirwais Balkhi for the Ministry of Education position,” the source said.

Munir Ahmad, the spokesman of Noor also said that ARG and Jamiat will reach an agreement to solve the differences in the near future.

“We have discussed on different issues and hope to reach an agreement in the nearest time,” Munir Ahmad said.

However, the introduced governor of Balkh by the government, Engineer Dawood who are now in Kabul said that the government leaders have assured him to be the official governor of Balkh.

The news comes after Abdullah Abdullah, NUG’s Chief Executive said yesterday, March 12, that the tensions between Atta Mohammad Noor and Government will be resolved until last days of current solar year.

Noor was ousted from his longtime post few months ago after President Ghani signed his resignation and appointed Engineer Mohammad Dawood, another member of Jamiat Party, as new governor of Balkh province.

The decision and president’s decree was immediately refused by Mr. Atta Noor and further warned that no one including President Ghani can remove him from Balkh leadership.

Since then, Mr. Noor repeatedly insisted on his stance against the decision and said that he will remain as Balkh governor until Jamiat Party and the presidential palace reach an agreement.

Several meetings were made between Jamiat Party and the government over the issue in Kabul which mostly ended with no results.

A delegation from government consisting Masoom Istanikzai, Chief of National Directorate of Security and Salaam Rahimi, Chief of President’s Administrative Office, traveled  to Balkh province to solve the issue.

The talks have reportedly led to positive results and have reduced tension between both parties.


Balkh residents call on IEA to mark Nowruz festival



(Last Updated On: March 18, 2022)

Residents of Balkh province on Thursday called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to maintain the tradition of celebrating the new solar year as has been done for years.

Residents said that Nowruz celebrations are a tradition for Afghans and should be celebrated peacefully across Afghanistan.

“The festival was celebrated every year, it should also be celebrated this year. Our grandparents celebrated it every year. I call on Islamic Emirate to celebrate the festival,” said Mohammad Mustafa, a resident of Balkh.

“We call on Islamic Emirate to celebrate the new year. Visitors come from far to participate in the Nowruz festival,” said Mohammad Karim, another resident of Balkh.

Mazar-e-Sharif municipality, however, said that they have made preparations for Nowruz which is on March 21.

“People come for tourism here, it is a green city. No problems will exist, but it will be different,” said Qudratullah Tariq, Mazar-e-Sharif’s mayor.

Cultural experts also called for Nowruz celebrations to go ahead.

However, with only four days to go to Nowruz, few preparations have been made to usher in the new year.

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Mazar Municipality prepares for Nowruz festival



(Last Updated On: March 11, 2022)

Officials from Mazar-e-Sharif Municipality said on Thursday that preparations are underway for the upcoming Nowruz festival, which marks the start of the new Persian Solar Year.

The main Nowruz festival in Afghanistan is traditionally held around March 21 in Mazar in northern Balkh province.

“We are completely prepared,” said Mawlavi Mohammad Nasim Abid, deputy head of Mazar Municipality.

He said the city is currently being cleaned up and that the municipality “ensures our people that we made preparations and there are no problems regarding security.”

Afghans have meanwhile called on the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) to allow Nowruz celebrations to go ahead.

We “urge the government of Islamic Emirate to mark the Nowruz festival as it was marked in the past years,” said Mohammad Asif, a resident of Mazar.

IEA officials meanwhile said that there are two Eids for Muslims, and that Nowruz celebrations are not necessary.

“Our leaders have not talked about the Nowruz celebration so far. Preparation for this big festival is too soon,” said Balil Karimi, deputy spokesman of IEA.

Afghan Wireless Communication Company (AWCC) in coordination with Mazar Municipality has meanwhile stepped in again this year to help prepare the city for Nowruz.

The company has helped clean up the Hazrat Ali Shrine in Mazar.

“We work for the city’s greenery every year, and clean corners of Rawza-e-Mubarak. Our preparations are completed,” said Yafiz Saqat, a representative of AWCC in Balkh.

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ADB approves APPC’s loan to enhance Afghanistan’s energy security



(Last Updated On: June 18, 2020)

On 17 June, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Afghan Power Plant Company Limited (APPC) signed a $10 million loan, ADB said in a statement.

According to ADB, this loan is part of a financing package for the Mazar gas-fired power plant, supporting Afghanistan’s efforts to achieve long-term energy security through affordable domestic power sources.

The project is the first private sector gas-fired plant in Afghanistan to be funded by development finance institutions, says ADB.

ADB says that in line with its long-term corporate strategy, Strategy 2030, the bank supports essential infrastructure through the private sector in a fragile and conflict-affected situation.

“ADB will also administer a $10 million loan for the project provided by Leading Asia’s Private Infrastructure Fund (LEAP),” the statement adds.

The ABD says that the loan provides long-term financing to build and operate a 58.56-megawatt gas-fired power plant located near Mazar-i-Sharif in northern Afghanistan.

“The project cost a total of $89 million, will use indigenous gas and is expected to generate 404 gigawatt-hours of power annually,” the statement writes.

Director of Infrastructure Finance Chakraborty, said, “This project is definitive proof that indigenous gas-based power generation is capable of displacing electricity imports in Afghanistan and helping to deliver energy security.”

He added, “Its success will send an important signal to the market that Afghanistan’s power industry is now ready to attract more private sector investment and financing.”

APPC Chairman Ismail Ghazanfar said, “This is the first step in Ghazanfar Group’s vision of helping to develop 5,000 megawatts of energy generation facilities in Afghanistan through partnerships with international development banks, local and international companies, and the Government of Afghanistan.”

It is worth mentioning that Afghanistan imports at least 75% of its energy needs.

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