Kandahar: Historic Ahmad Shahi Palace risks complete eradication

KANDAHARCITY (Pajhwok): Historic Ahmad Shahi Palace building in Kandahar City, the capital of southern Kandahar province has been on the verge of eradication and needed urgent care, according to cultural activists on Thursday.
The building belonged to the great Ahmad Shah Baba, the founder of the modern day Afghanistan and the then emperor. His residents and stable are situated in the building which is more than 300 years old.
Situated in the first Municipal District of Kandahar City, the stable which is also known as Shahi Stable had been affected the most over the years. Sardar Wali Pashtonzoy, an analyst of history, said the Ahmad Shahi building was in terrible situation adding that besides current government officials the international community should pay attention to it.
He said some signs of the Shahi Stable still existed adding that the historic site was situated in southern part of the Topkhani bazaar and stretched towards the south.
He believed if these historic sites are not protect it would be perished with the passage of time.
In addition some parts of the Ahmad Shah Baba house were also on the verge of collapse.
The house is 300 years old where his surrogates lived; it was acquired by the former President Ashraf Ghani in 2013 at the cost of $10 million.
An agreement between the owners of the house and government was signed through which the Ahmad Shah Baba house and 18 more house stretched in 3.5 acres of land became state property. The then president said that government would convert the historic site into a modern museum which will attract foreign and national tourists and they would be able to know about Ahmad Shah Baba’s achievements. The government acquired the area but tis reconstruction and rehabilitation work was not started.
Cultural Activists Aziz Ahmad Aziz said it was government responsibility to protect historic places adding that if historic sites are perished it would eradicate the history of that nation as well.
Mohammad Waris, a bodyguard of Ahmad Shah Baba’s house said currently some parts of the house had been destroyed while commercial markets had been constructed nearby.
Mawlavi Noor Ahmad Saeed, director of Information and Cultural Affairs Department, said recently information and cultural affairs minister visited Kandahar province and the house of Ahmad Shah Baba.
“We shared the issue with the minister that his house needed rehabilitation and he pledged that as part of the rehabilitation of historic sites the house of Ahmad Shah Baba would be given priority,” said Saeed.
According to local officials over 30 historic sites are registered in Kandahar in which some are more than one thousand year old.
Chahal Zina, Naranj Palace, Mandigag, Mena Burj, Sperwan hill, Mir Hazar Mosque are said to the most historic sites in Kandahar City.