Sun, Oct 23, 2016 | updated 08:37 AM IST

Prez. Ghani says unity critical in Afghanistan during Independence Day ceremony

Updated: Aug 18, 2016 18:49 IST

Kabul, Aug. 18 (ANI): Celebrating 97 years of Independence on Thursday, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said that unity among the people of the country was critical at this juncture adding, under no circumstance would Kabul become a safe haven again for insurgents and international terrorists.

Asserting that country's main enemy at present was its poor economic performance, Ghani said, "We can resolve problems together."

Addressing the nation from the presidential palace, he thanked the security forces for their efforts in protecting the country, and added they had shown the people of Afghanistan that they are capable of fighting off insurgents, reports the Tolo News.

He also made it clear that having gained independence 97 years ago, Afghanistan will never hand over its foreign policy.

On relations with Islamabad, he said, "our message to Pakistan is government-to-government, and we will not forgo our national interests".

He also pointed out that without sacrifices made by security forces, the government would never have been able to make the commitments it made to the world in recent times.

He added that the security forces will defeat Daesh in all parts of the country and the security forces, with the support of the Afghan people, will turn Afghanistan into a mass grave for insurgents.

Prior to his address, Ghani placed a floral wreath at the Menar-i-Istiqlal (Independence Minaret) in Kabul.

High-ranking government officials, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Abdullah Abdullah, National Security Advisor Mohammad Hanif Atmar, cabinet members, parliamentarians, military officers and foreign diplomats were among others present during the ceremony.

Afghanistan, which was not part of the British Empire, celebrates the day to commemorate the 1919 Treaty of Rawalpindi. (ANI)