بسم الله الرحمن الرحیم
My Lords, Excellencies, Fellow Afghans,
Ladies and Gentlemen:
On my own behalf, and on behalf of my wife and our embassy staff, I would like to welcome you to the 95th anniversary of our country’s independence. We thank you for joining us on this auspicious occasion, and hope that you enjoy being here.
Those who know Afghanistan well are undoubtedly aware of the Afghan people’s unshakable love for independence.
My people’s love for independence reminds me of that great American revolutionary, Patrick Henry, who famously said: ‘Give me Liberty or Give me Death’.
There is ample evidence in our long history to show that Afghans have been one of the staunchest adherents and practitioners of Patrick Henry’s fantastic declaration, without knowing his deeds and thoughts.
In the course of our tumultuous history, we have endured unspeakable sufferings guarding our independence and national honour; and today, we continue to do so.
It is our unwavering love for freedom and independence that gives us the strength and the perseverance to tolerate and overcome the daily shocks of losing our innocent sons and daughters to the forces of terror, ignorance, and darkness.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I would like to take this opportunity to assure everyone in this room that Afghanistan, today, is on the right track to overcome the legacies of the war and destruction that befell our country for over three decades. Since 2002, we have come a long way towards the goal of a safer and better life for every citizen of our country. We have laid the necessary foundations required for building an inclusive society.
This would not have been possible without the moral and material support of our friends, including the United Kingdom (and of course, the United States). I would like to thank them for their generous support.
I thank His Excellency David Cameron and his cabinet for visiting Kabul today and reaffirming that British aid to Afghanistan will continue.
We cherish the memory of those heroes who lost their lives while defending freedom and humanity in Afghanistan. We thank those who served and returned home safely; we pray for the quick recovery of those who were hurt and suffered injuries. May God bless all these heroes and their families. And, last but least, we pay tribute to the memory of our brothers and sisters who lost their lives while defending our country, or fell victim to terror while living their ordinary lives.
A few days ago, at the conclusion of a highly instructive presidential election, our elected leaders decided to form a National Unity Government. This government will reflect the aspirations and faces of all citizens of our country. The formation of the National Unity Government is a significant step forward toward consolidating the democratic gains and achievements we have had during the last 13 years of hard work of national revival.
I am confident that Afghanistan’s relations with the rest of the world, including Great Britain, will continue to flourish under our National Unity Government.
The Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States and the SOFA Agreement with NATO were signed following the inauguration of the President-elect and swearing-in of the Chief Executive of the Council of Ministers. These two Agreements constitute the cornerstones of Afghanistan’s future security.
Once security is ensured, Afghanistan will be well positioned to play its liberating role as a regional superhighway of energy, trade, transportation, and resources in the region. This will benefit not only Afghanistan and its immediate and far neighbours; it will also help eliminate resource scarcity and transport bottlenecks that inhibit growth and prosperity in the rest of the world.
Excellencies; Ladies and Gentlemen:
These are only a few of the good news I wanted to share with you today. I am confident that in spite of the challenges we face, I will be able to convey to you more good news in the coming days, as the work of our National Unity Government unfolds.
Before proceeding with the rest of today’s program g, I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate everyone in this room on the arrival of Eid-ul Udha, which begins tomorrow.
درنو وطنوالو، قدرمنو خویندو او ورونو:
مخکه لدی چی خپلی انګریزی خبری پای ته ورسوم، غواړم د ملی وحدت د حکومت په استازیتوب او د ځان لخوا تاسو ګرانو وطنوالو ته د زړه د کومی د لوی اختر د رارسیدو په مناسبت تبریکی عرض وکړم. د الله تعالی جل علی شانهُ په دربار کی استدعا کوم چی تاسو او ستاسو عزیزانو، او د افغانستان ټولو رنځیدلی خلکو ته، خپل عنایات و فیضونه ور په برخه کړی.
خواهران و برادران هموطن: فرارسیدن عید سعید قربان را به نمایندگی از حکومتِ وحدتِ ملیِ افغانستان و سفارت شما در لندن، برای هر یک از شما عزیزان از صمیم قلب تبریک عرض نموده و برای شما و خانواده های محترم شما ایام پرمیمنتی را استدعا مینمایم.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:
Once again, my colleagues and I thank you for taking part in tonight’s celebration of our Independence Day.