KABUL is celebrating its 94th Independence Day today (Monday), with a series of event marking the day being held in the central capital Kabul and other major cities.
Afghanistan, which has never been under British occupation, won freedom from the United Kingdom 94 years ago during former King Ghazi Amanullah Khan’s rule.
The day dawned with a 21-cannon salute from the Ministry of Defence in Kabul before President Hamid Karzai laid a floral wreath on the Freedom Monument.
Independence Day celebrations have been a low-key affair after a militant assault spoiled an event in front of the Eidgah Mosque five years ago, forcing President Karzai and other leaders to leave the venue.
A number of world leaders, including Russian, Korean, Bhutanese, Italian, Uzbekistan, Algerian and Australian leaders greeted President Karzai and wished peace and stability in Afghanistan.
In the eastern city of Jalalabad, a floral wreath was placed on Ghazi Amanullah Khan’s grave by Nangarhar Provincial Council members and residents.
Separately, hundreds of people participated in an Independence Day function at the governor’s house. Deputy Governor Mohammad Hanif Gardiwal said Iranian, Pakistani and Indian diplomats also attended the event.
A similar gathering was held in Lashkargah, the capital of southern Helmand province. Governor Gen. Mohammad Naeem, tribal elders and citizens were in attendance.