A spirit of resistance
Dr Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
As the country celebrates centenary of Afghanistan's independence, Ambassador Abdul Farid Zikria hopes for renewed peace and prosperity
Today, Afghanistan is celebrating 100 years since it regained its full independence. The day marks the end of British control over the country's foreign policy after three hard-fought Anglo-Afghan Wars in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The written history of Afghanistan can be traced to over 5,000 years and long before the British recognised Afghanistan's sovereignty, several Afghan Empires dominated the region.
The National Day for commemoration of Afghanistan's Independence on August 19 has a historical reflection, where the Afghan nation showed its resolve and steadfastness as well as its unity in defeating a foreign invading army.
This occasion marks the awakening of the national unity and strong will to repel the occupation forces from our lands.
On this day, we honour the true heroes, our veterans, who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending our Nation's precious independence and cherished freedom.
I would like to extend my warmest greetings and congratulations to all the members of the Afghan community residing in the UAE and abroad.
I would also like to extend my sincere greetings and best wishes for the happiness and prosperity of the people of the UAE, our very kind and supportive host.
We obtained our independence as a nation with aspirations for sovereignty, peace and prosperity. We also led the way for countries to fight for their rights, gain independence and also become free nations.
On this very proud day, we salute our tri-coloured flag and remember with deep respect and gratitude all the freedom fighters and leaders who made supreme sacrifices in defending our country's honour, independence and freedom.
Afghanistan, during its rich and proud history, has endured many tumultuous periods where, in the last century alone, the country has seen two invasions by the superpowers of the time and international terrorism, which destroyed our land, but in turn strengthened our commitment and resolve for a prosperous future.
We rejoice that in spite of many dark periods of uncertainty and difficulties, we have managed to remain hopeful, optimistic and unified as a nation.
As we look back with pride on our heritage for freedom and independence we also look forward to the future with renewed hope for peace and stability while enjoying our achievements of a democratic society and an open market economy full of fresh opportunities and prospects.
We have given ourselves a functional democratic constitution, which is standing the test of time. The social, political, economic and security institutions of our country have been developed with the participation of people from all segments of our society in a free and competitive environment.
The social and human development of our country has made some significant progress in education, health, women empowerment and other socio-economic sectors.
We have been successful in many areas despite major challenges and evil attempts faced to spread the havoc of terrorism and anarchy.
We see terrorism as a threat for global peace and security and it should be dealt with vigorously and with much determination across the globe. Terrorists should be denied sanctuaries in order to build a safe, peaceful and prosperous world.
Our achievements are significant not only on a national level but also with the international community.
Today, Afghanistan, under the leadership of President Dr Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, is regaining its rightful place in the community of free and pluralistic nations
Together with our strong working relationship in the international community and with the perseverance of the Afghan people, proud to say that Afghanistan is emerging as a model of cooperation in the international community for peace, prosperity and global security.
Afghanistan, following years of complete dependence on foreign aid, is stepping into a new era in its development, setting more ambitious goals such as increasing its domestic revenue and its share in the national budget.
We are certain that with combining our current potential and the continued support of the international community we will achieve far greater goals thus building a strong and prosperous state for the generations to come.
Finally, on this day, on behalf of the people and Government of Afghanistan, I would like to express sincere gratitude and appreciation to the people and Government of the UAE, especially to the President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for their significant and generous assistance as well as interest in Afghanistan's permanent peace, stability and prosperity.
May Allah protect the Afghan nation including its men and women in uniform, and may He continue to bless the affinity and brotherhood between Afghanistan and the UAE!
Afghan King Amanullah Khan