Thu, Oct

From Conflict To Peace, Arghandab Now A Picnic Spot


Once the frontline of Afghanistan's war, the southern province of Kandahar is finally experiencing a semblance of peace with residents even able to enjoy peaceful picnics in the infamous Arghandab district.

According to one resident, Gul Mohammad Yarana, Arghandab - an area previously plagued by deadly battles between security forces and insurgents - has in recent times become an important leisure area for locals.

"The Taliban were living here and no one could come here at ease – especially not government officials or military forces. Now there is no Taliban and anyone can come here for a picnic," said Yarana.

Sallahuddin, a Nimroz resident concurred and said even he had traveled to Arghandab for picnics. It is also here where the famous Baba Wali shrine is – a shrine that attracts visitors from around the country.

Even a Kabul resident, Haji Ali Ahmad, said: "We came from Kabul and see the security of Kandahar is better than in the past,".

It is because of this turnaround that children and the elderly also have the chance to live a fairly peaceful existence, said residents.

However, locals and visitors alike made it clear that government would have to help to maintain the current security levels.

"Our security is better now, but we request the government pay attention to picnic sites," said Nazar Mohammad one resident.

He said that it was not only Arghandab district that was experiencing this new found security – but the current situation had spread to other parts of the province as well.

But this level of peace can only be maintained with the help of government, he said.

Arghandab is a district best known for its fierce local pride and farming tradition. However in recent years it became known as a district of conflict, which brought with it political instability and poverty. Arghandab is a lush district adjacent to Kandahar with many villages mostly occupied in farming.