Mujahideen's Victory Day marked amid calls for unity
TIRINKOT/JALALABAD (PAN): Former jihadi commanders, tribal elders and local officials on Sunday marked the Mujahideen's Victory Day in central Uruzgan and eastern Nangarhar provinces, paying tributes to the martyrs.
Falling on April 28, the day is marked as an official holiday commemorating the end of communist rule in 1992.
In Tirinkot, the capital of Uruzgan, religious scholars and parliamentarians attended a gathering marking the day, a statement from the governor's office said.
Speaking on the occasion, Governor Amir Mohammad Akhundzada said despite a lack of modern weapons, the Mujahideen had been able to defeat the strong Soviet occupation army by rendering countless sacrifices.
He asked the youth to follow in the footsteps of their forefathers who had laid down their lives to protect the country and vanquish the aggressors.
MP Obaidullah Barakzai and Senator Amanullah Azimi called the day a moment of great honour for the Afghans. Barakzai said the sacrifices of Afghans not only resulted in their country’s independence, but also helped other Islamic nations gain liberty from the former USSR.
Scholars highlighted the importance of jihad, saying religious leaders had a key role in its promotion. They alleged Pakistan and other countries hatched conspiracies at that time to create rifts among mujahideen factions. As a result, thousands of innocent Afghans were killed and maimed in the civil war.
Ex-jihadi figures stressed the need for unity among mujahideen, saying their role was crucial to overcoming the challenges facing the country today.
The day was also celebrated in Nangarhar, where hundreds of people including lawmakers, former jihadi leaders, tribal elders and government officials attended a gathering at the governor’s house in Jalalabad.
Governor Gul Agha Sherzai called on the nation to forge unity in its ranks to steer the country out of the current crisis. He said the Afghans themselves had to rebuild and defend their homeland.
Wolesi Jirga member and ex-jihadi commander Eng. Ghaffar said April 28 marked the victory of the Islamic revolution in Afghanistan, but later some commanders opted to serve their own interests and jumped into internal clashes.
"At that time, if the jihadi commanders had demonstrated patience, the nation would not have plunged into the civil war," he believed, asking the people and political parties to cooperate with the government in preventing a new crisis.
Provincial council head, Malik Nazir, also a former jihadi figure, acknowledged that Pakistan and Iran had cooperated with the Afghans in waging the jihad against the Soviet occupation.
But in the same breath, he accused Pakistan of prolonging the conflict in Afghanistan. "Pakistan should stop fuelling the war and torturing the Afghans," he stressed.
Nazir suggested the Afghan government should make efforts at seeking help from Pakistan and other neighbouring countries in resolving security-related problems.
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