The scheduled programme to formally announce the 3rd century BC archaeological site Mahasthangarh as SAARC cultural capital on January 21 has been postponed.
Ministry of cultural affairs had organised 5-day programme at the site featuring series of literature, film and dance events to welcome delegates from the SAARC countries.
‘We postponed the programme as India and Pakistan refused to attend it,’ cultural affairs minister Asaduzzuman Noor told New Age.
The minister, however, did not give the reason for the refusal of India and Pakistan to attend the programme.
He could not even say whether Mahasthangarh would enjoy the status of SAARC cultural capital. ‘The fate of announcing Mahasthangarh as SAARC cultural capital will be decided soon,’ said Noor, adding that the ministry had a plan to organise a programme in March at the venue.
Bangladesh was selected to decide a place of the country as the SAARC cultural capital in 2016 as per a decision that came from a meeting of the South Asian regional forum held in Delhi in September 2014.
Each year, an archeologically and culturally rich city of one of the eight South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation countries is declared the cultural capital for that year to create a bridge among the people of those countries.
The prime minister in June selected Mahasthangarh as the SAARC cultural capital considering its historical importance.
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