The new parliament building was inaugurated in the presence of Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi, Speaker of the Lower of House Parliament (Wolesi Jirga) and Abdul Hadi Muslimyar, Chairman of the Afghan Senate House – Upper House of Parliament.
President Ghani and PM Modi took a tour of the parliament building and arrived at the main session hall in the presence of the guests including Afghan parliament members.
Having the elements of Mughal and modern architecture with marbles used from Chesht-e-Sharif district of western Herat province, work on the new parliament building tarted in 2009 by India’s premier government-owned construction agency – Central Public Works Department (CPWD), with an estimated construction cost of $90 million.
One of the key features of the new parliament building is its dome which is said to be one of the largest among the parliaments in Asia.
Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament (Wolesi Jirga) Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi thanked the government of India and the Indian people for the gift of the new parliament building.
Narendra Modi started his speech by paying tribute to the Afghans who have sacrificed their lives, describing Afghanistan as a nation of pride, freedom and liberty, saying Afghanistan is a country with an abiding faith in the tradition of Jirga and has chosen democracy against challenge that would have defeated a lesser people.
He also added that “We are deeply touched that you have chosen to name one of the wings in this building Atal Block. This will stand as an enduring symbol of the ties of emotions and values of affection and aspirations that bind us together.”
Citing endless love among the people of the two nations, Modi expressed delight that Afghan team has found its home ground near Delhi and is practicing for next year’s World Cup. -KP
THE PASHTUN TIMES