News - Afghanistan
A special ceremony was held at the Ministry of Defense (MoD) commemorating the 95th anniversary of Afghanistan's independence on Tuesday.
The ceremony was attended by government officials including Afghan President Hamid Karzai and presidential candidates Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai.
Like previous years, Karzai began the day by laying flowers at the Azadi [Freedom] Memorial. Later in his speech at the MoD, Karzai asked the people to cherish Independence Day calling it a day of sacrifice, unity and solidarity.
"There are two important pillars behind the freedom and dignity of this country," Karzai said. "Sacrifice and devotion as well as solidarity, confidence and unity."
This is while no signs of public celebrations have been noticed in the country in the last few years. In the past years, the nation's Independence Day would be celebrated through special festivities around the country. However, the number of celebrations has decreased each year.
In addition to speaking about the significance of the Independence Day, Karzai also touched on the election topic, stressing that the results should be finalized shortly.
"We hope the election results are finalized soon. The Afghan nation eagerly awaits the results and hopes that our two brothers [the presidential candidates] can reach agreements that are in the interests of our people."
The president expressed hope that the two candidates would reach an inclusive agreement, considering that they have both pledged to rid the country of insecurity. Karzai's own inability to bring and maintain security has been a major source of criticism for his government.
"Inshallah the two candidates will establish a strong government and bring the country out of insecurity," Karzai added. "Meanwhile, we call on Pakistan to halt their interferences in Afghan affairs."
Afghanistan celebrated its 95th independence anniversary simultaneously as it prepares for the first peaceful democratic transition of power in its history.
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