Afghans celebrate 99th Independence Day with fervor

People enjoy concert, friendly football match with Palestine as part of celebrations

Afghans celebrate 99th Independence Day with fervor

World Bulletin / News Desk

Millions of Afghans marked the country’s 99th Independence Day with fervor on Sunday despite heightened security and swelling militancy.

In downtown Kabul, the main boulevards were decorated with the tri-colour Afghan flag and huge posters of former King Amanullah Khan, who was at the helm of affairs in Afghanistan from 1919 till 1929 when the country regained its sovereignty over foreign policy from the British who were ruling neighbouring India back then.

The day, Aug. 19, marks the end of British control over the country’s foreign policy after three Anglo-Afghan Wars of the 19th and 20th centuries that also compelled the then Afghan rulers to acknowledge the Durand Line as a border between Afghanistan and the then British India.

Convoys of private cars driven particularly by youngsters hoisting the flag marched through different avenues of the city, playing patriotic songs on amplified speakers, and cheered on by by-passers.

On the eve of the Independence Day, a rare musical concert was also organized at the Zazai Park of the city with thousands of Kabul residents attending under tight security. Popular singer, Karan Khan, entertained visitors for hours before they were enthralled by spectacular fireworks.

Mohammad Ummar, a father of five children, told Anadolu Agency he usually does not allow his children to go out in the evening owing to security concerns, but he relented because of the special day.

“Believe me, it is such a special feeling, I bring my whole family to the concert today in spite of security concerns, the wounded country needs healing. I wish God bring us peace forever,” Ummar said.

Another main attraction of the celebrations was a rare international football game organized for the big day between the host Afghanistan and visiting Palestine team. On the invitation of the Afghanistan Football Federation, the Palestinian football team landed in Kabul two days ago, and held practice sessions at the AFF stadium in Kabul for the match.

The two sides have played each other twice in the 2010 World Cup Qualifiers and once in the Asia Challenge Cup in 2014. Palestine beat Afghanistan in all three matches. In a presser a day before the match, Afghan coach Anosh Dastgir and his Palestinian counterpart, Noureddine Oulad Ali, expressed readiness for the encounter.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 19 Ağustos 2018, 16:58