Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday wished Afghanistan Independence Day from the rampart of the Red Fort in Delhi during his speech on the occasion of India's 73rd Independence Day. Afghanistan will celebrate its 100th Independence Day on August 19 this year.
During the speech, PM Modi said, "Our neighbour and a good friend after four days will celebrate its Independence Day. From the ramparts of the Red Fort, I give my greetings to the people of Afghanistan who are marking 100 years of freedom".
Afghanistan regained full independence from British rule on August 19, 1919, after the defeat of the latter in the third Anglo-Afghan war.
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, in a statement, congratulated India on its Independence Day and said, "India has been a great and close friend of Afghanistan in moments of difficulty and tragedy and massively contributed to help maintain stability and security in the region and the world."
"As a close friend of India, Afghanistan is very keen to further strengthening its relationship and partnership with India, which rests on mutual trust between our countries and the historical bonds and enduring goodwill between our people," Ghani added.
Meanwhile, India's Independence Day was celebrated in Afghanistan with Indian envoy Vinay Kumar unfurling the national flag at the Indian Mission in Kabul.
[Indian envoy Vinay Kumar at I Day festivities at Indian mission in Kabul. (Courtesy: Indian mission in Kabul)]
[Consul-general Gajraj Bhati at I Day festivities at Indian consulate in Herat. (Courtesy: Indian mission in Herat)]
Consul-general Gajraj Bhati led the Independence Day festivities at the Indian Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan. Indian nationals in western Afghanistan, including some doctors, travelled to the Indian Consulate to participate in the function.
Ties between New Delhi and Kabul have improved since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. India became a major donor to the landlocked South Asian country. India has built the Afghan national parliament and the India-Afghanistan friendship dam in the western Herat province.
PM Modi said, 'Our neighbour and a good friend after four days will celebrate its Independence Day. From the ramparts of the Red Fort, I give my greetings to the people of Afghanistan who are marking 100 years of freedom.'