War forced folk music enthusiasts abandon profession


GHAZNI: Located in the southeast region, Ghazni province was once known for its unique local music, but decades of conflicts in the country have damaged the tradition and forced musicians to engage in other businesses.
There are still a handful of singers in Ghazni who have to continue the music profession despite the presence of different threats.
However, the Taliban recently warned owners of the Ghazni province owners that they would be targeted if they hosted any musical programs.
Ghulam Hazrat Qarabaghi, son of Khan Qarabaghi, a renowned folk singer in Ghazni in the 1980s, told Orband News that the Taliban had created problems for local music.
He said that threats from the Taliban on one hand and indifference of local organs, particularly the information and culture department to support the artists on the other, have almost caused music to be at a standstill.
“If the second round of peace talks succeeds, and there is hope for a ceasefire, then our business will improve, and Ghazni’s much-loved local music will return to its former glory,” he said.
Mohammad Gul Qarabaghi, who has been singing for the past six years, said that it was their responsibility to work for pure folk music despite the presence of many threats.
He blamed the government for its negligence about the music industry, saying it did not discharge its responsibility regarding the music sector as required. 
Mohammad Naeem Helamand, a fan of musical programs, said that the folk music was abandoned by the government and prohibited by the Taliban long ago in the province as singers faced a serious threat from the insurgent group.
He also blamed local organs for their indifference about not promoting local music, asking warring sides to stop their hostilities with the art.