Tourists to eastern region on rise, thanks to improved security

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NANGARHAR: Officials of the eastern region of the country say the number of tourists visiting mountainous areas with natural beauty has increased, thanks to a relative improvement in the security situation.


Kama, Dara-e-Noor and Khogyani districts of Nangarhar province, Dangam district of Kunar province, riversides in Qarghayo district of Laghman province and Nuristan province, are areas with unique natural beauties flocked by tourists.


Zabihullah Ghazi, a journalist who visited Nuristan province a year back, has taken advantage of the province’s stable security and shared his photos taken at different sites on social media.


“When I was traveling to the province, I was not sure whether I would return alive, but the security was good. There were countless beautiful places. When I posted the photos to my social media account, people started asking me how I traveled there. I guide youth, who are now encouraged to travel in groups.”


He said that many of his friends from Khost, Paktia, Nangarhar and Kabul provinces had visited him and then they organized a joint trip to Nuristan.


A civil society activist from Kunar, Sadaqat Ghorzang, said that the Dangam district and Nawapass area of Sarkano district of the province were full of beautiful natural sites.


“When I first published some photos from Nawapass area, many people got interested in visiting, so that was the reason it turned to a tourist spot,” he said.


Qari Javid, a resident of the Qalakhon area of the Kama district of Nangarhar, who runs an ice-cream shop, said that people from distant areas visited his shop to eat ice cream.


Mohammad Raqib, a resident of Qarghayo district of Laghman, said that riverside meadow near Daronta Dam had also become a tourist attraction and many people visited it, particularly in the afternoon.


He said that the area would become the main tourist spot if the security situation improved.


Information and culture officials say that expectations for expanding tourist areas in the mentioned provinces have been increased, given the stable security in the region.


Rahimullah Khogyani, information and culture director of Nangarhar, said that they also organized a conference on encouraging more tourists to visit areas in the province with stable security.


Tourism contributes to a country’s economy, security, rural industry and development


Hashmatullah Zhman, tourism manager for Kunar Information and Culture Department, said that natural landscapes in the province have attracted many visitors, and that tourist spots could be expanded if security situation was further improved.


“Most people visit Nawapass area and Dangam district. In addition to eastern regions, tourists from central and southern provinces also visit these areas,” he said.


Nuristan information and culture director, Fazal Khaliq Khaliqyar, said that the number of visitors swarming natural sites of the province had increased compared to the past.


He said that one of the reasons behind it was improved security on routes leading to Paron, capital of Nuristan, as well as safe environment in Paron city and nearby districts.


Laghman information and culture director, Awran Samim, also said that Saraj Historical Castle, verdurous riversides in Qarghayo district and Mehtarlam Baba Shrine in the capital of the province attracted a large number of tourists.


He said that natural landscapes in Dawlatshah, Alishang and Alingar districts of the province would also turn into tourist sites as soon as security situation gets better.


Meanwhile, Mujgan Mustafawi, deputy information and culture minister, said that the ministry had developed a plan based on which tourists would be encouraged to visit historical and natural sites in a number of provinces.


She said that the security situation had gotten better in eastern region of the country, particularly in Nangarhar province and that was the reason many tourists traveled there.


Eastern provinces of the country have a moderate climate and are rich in natural water, one of the reasons that people from cold areas arrive here on picnics to enjoy the winter.