Prime Minister Narendra Modi this morning extended greetings to the people of Afghanistan, who are celebrating 100 years of freedom this year.
Addressing the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort on the occasion of 73rd Independence Day, the prime minister said, "Afghanistan is a good neighbour of India, and I wish the country for celebrating 100 years of independence this year."
The war-torn nation that has been trying to achieve peace from the decades-long conflict celebrates its Independence Day each year on August 19. According to Tolo News, this national holiday honours Shah Amanullah Khan's defeat of the British Empire in 1919 and the founding of the nation.
Although Afghanistan was never part of the British Empire, it gained its independence from Britain after the signing of the Anglo-Afghan Treaty in 1919 - a treaty that granted complete neutral relations between Afghanistan and Britain.
However, despite marking 100 years of independence, intensive negotiations between the United States and the Taliban are still underway that aim to end the nearly eighteen-year war in Afghanistan.
Mr Modi, in his speech, also condemned terrorism in all forms and referred to the deadly terror bombings in neighbouring Sri Lanka that killed more than 250 people on Easter Sunday in April.
"India is strongly fighting against those who are spreading terrorism. Terrorism in any part of the world is a war against humanity and hence all humanitarian forces should come together to expose the real face of those who harbour, promote or export terrorism," he said.
"Those who give protection to terrorism and support it must be completely exposed," the prime minister said in a veiled attack on Pakistan.
"Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka are also affected by terrorism. All countries in the world need to come together to fight this menace," Mr Modi asserted.
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