The venue for Nawroz celebrations has been changed from the hilly town of Paghman, northwest of Kabul, to the Presidential Palace, a government official announced on Saturday.
President Karzai last week visited the previous venue in Paghman and found that construction work had not finished yet, a reason that led to the change, his chief spokesman Aimal Faizi told Pajhwok Afghan News .
He said the Presidential Palace had enough space to accommodate guests attending the Persian New Year celebrations, scheduled to formally begin on Thursday.
Foreign delegates would arrive a day earlier (Wednesday) to have time for bilateral and trilateral meetings, said Faizi, who rejected the impression that the venue change was driven by security concerns.
Nawroz is widely celebrated with fervor in Afghanistan, particularly in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The change of venue comes amid an uptick in Taliban attacks.
Guests and high-ranking officials from Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan and Iraq have been invited to Nawroz celebrations.
The government last month tasked a committee, headed by Education Minister Ghulam Farooq Wardak, with completing preparations for the event in Paghman.