Kabul residents complain over restricted access to parks

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Some residents of Kabul complained over existing restrictions on visiting parks, saying they cannot go to parks and entertainment areas with their families.

Earlier, the Ministry of Vice and Virtue issued a schedule that allotted specific days for families as well as for men and women.

Paghman and Qargha are famous entertainment areas and are visited by hundreds of people and families on holidays, particularly on Fridays. However, based on the Ministry of Vice and Virtue’s schedule, Friday is scheduled for the men.

“Unfortunately, there is a problem with the schedule. The people can’t go to the parks on the days specified for families because they have to work. The holidays are allotted for the men,” said Ataulhaq Fazli, a resident of Kabul.

“I have only Friday as a day off. Today I came out with my family to visit the park but was not allowed to enter,” said Sulaiman, a resident of Kabul.

The restriction on parks is also affecting the business of restaurants and other industries in Paghman and Qargha.

“I suffered a loss of around 18,000 Afs last week. I butchered three sheep but sold only 3kg meat,” said Abdul Waheed, owner of a restaurant.

“If they consult us, we will tell them to allot Friday for the families. We have no problem with the schedule,” said Mustafa Jami, owner of the restaurant.

The number of visitors at recreational places and touristic sites in Kabul and other provinces has decreased dramatically amidst an economic crisis in the country over the last five weeks, business owners said.

Owners of shops and restaurants at some recreational places in Kabul said there is a dramatic decrease in the number of their customers.

Qargha Lake is one of Kabul’s recreational sites where less people are visiting it following the fall of the former government.

Ramin, who visited the lake with his family, said that people’s presence there was much less than he expected.

“Around 20 families have come here. People are not visiting here as much as they did before,” he said.

Restaurant owners said their businesses have also been affected negatively and their income has decreased dramatically.

“There is a 70 percent change in our business. If it continues like this, we might not be able to run our businesses anymore,” said Nadir, a restaurant owner.

Taliban officials, however, assured that families can visit the lake and other recreational places without having any security concerns.

“Security is maintained. Families can visit the lake from 7am to 8pm,” Qari Mahmoud, the head of a security team for Qargha Lake, said.

Some Kabul residents said economic challenges are the main reason that less people are visiting recreational venues.

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