KABUL: President Ashraf Ghani has called August 19 a day of reviving Afghanistan’s pride and glory, urging the Afghans to work for the development of their country.
August 19 commemorates the signing of the 1919 Treaty of Rawalpindi, which granted Afghanistan full independence from Britain. The country was never part of the British Raj.
A statement from the Presidential Palace said Ghani attended a function marking the 98th Independence Day of Afghanistan at the Zafar Military Corps headquarters in western Herat province on Saturday.
Ghani watched the national flag that was signed with a million signatures and then placed flowers in front of portraits of national heroes, the statement said.
“These one million signatures mean renewing our commitment to the jihad of our forefathers, our national hero Amanullah Khan, the Afghan nation and the country’s future,” he remarked.
“We are once again marking a day that is a major turning point in our history; it’s a when true sons of soil preserved Afghanistan’s sovereignty,” he observed, adding celebration of the day had different meanings for the Afghans.
“From one perspective, this is a day of revival of our national pride and glory telling the story of the freedom of our forefathers who struggled to shore up Afghanistan in difficult times,” Ghani said.
The Afghans were currently at a critical juncture, a time whose value they must understand and complete unfinished mission, the president said, asking the people to demonstrate unity and discharge their historic responsibility toward the next five generations.
“Today we should renew our resolve to lead and represent the entire nation. When all of us look at ourselves in the mirror of a single nation, our hopes and aspirations will become a reality,” he said.
Those who still speak of violence, dance to the tunes of foreigners and inflict bloodshed on the Afghans are moving in the wrong direction, according to Ghani, who said such elements could not escape defeat.
Governor Mohammad Asif Rahimi, who also attended the ceremony, welcomed the president and his delegation. He asked youth to improve their sense of patriotism to realise the aspirations of Amanullah Khan.
At the present sensitive stage of economic development, terrorists targeted the basics of the system, he noted, saying the nation supported achievements of the government and would not allow foreign agents to achieve their ominous goals, he said.
Maj. Gen. Mohammad Naser Hidayat, commander of the 207th Military Corps, said the progress made by the Afghan forces was not enough and they would fight against terrorism like their forefathers did.
He said the Afghan nation was behind the success of the security forces, working day and night to defend the country. They would not hesitate laying down their lives for the motherland, he concluded. -Pajhwok