2015 was the year of Afghanistan’s survival: President
KABUL (Pajhwok): President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday called 2015 the year of Afghanistan’s survival and achievements of the Afghan Air Force (AAF) as he watched the first airshow showcasing the country's new light attack aircraft, the A-29.
The president, who joined US and Afghan security officials at the event at the Kabul airport, said his government would continue to invest more in the air force.
President Ghani said: “The solar year 1394 (ending on March 21) was the year of survival of Afghanistan and the year of remarkable achievements of Afghan pilots whose names would be written in golden words in the Afghanistan history.”
Appreciating sacrifices of the air force, he said: “The memories of the Afghan air force will remain always alive. The Afghan government is committed to educating children of soldiers who laid down their lives in the defence of the country.”
“Today is the day of AAF rehabilitation, once we had a powerful air force, but it was destroyed due to disunity and a lack of commitment, but today we see the revival of our air force,” Ghani said.
The president said the AAF was always ready to support the Afghan ground forces in the defence of their country.
He said the current generation of the AFF defending the country would be trainers of the next generation.
“Our message to the people of Afghanistan is clear and it is that security and defence forces have honestly and independently defended the territory of this country.”
“We do not want war, our generals do not like bloodshed, they love peace because they know the price of peace, the price of peace is the blood of soldiers and generals,” he said.
“No one can impose something on the Afghans by force, therefore peace is a clear message, but the peace should not damage the dignity and the constitution of Afghanistan, we can win peace both in the battlefield and on political front,” Ghani added, assuring the Afghans, particularly the Afghan forces, that their sacrifices would not be lost on the political ground.
He said the Afghan government was purposeful and united, assuring problems would be resolved one after another and peace, a long-awaited demand of Afghans, would be achieved.
The president also conferred medals on air force commanders Gen. Abdul Kunduzi and Lt. Col. Khushal in recognition of their services and performance.
Lt. Gen. Abdul Wahab Wardak, the AAF’s general commander, said the AAF was currently operating in four brigades. He called the next solar year full of problems but assured the AAF was ready for defend the country.
Wardak urged the president to take measures for protection of pilots, AAF engineers and their families. He also asked the president to provide resources for the repair of M25 aircrafts.
The president said any kind of demands that protected the national interest would be followed.
According to reports, the AAF currently has more than 100 aircrafts including four MI-35 helicopters recently donated by India.
Afghanistan had 500 warplanes during former president Dr. Najibullah’s government, but they were destroyed as a result of the civil war and the US-led invasion in 2001 to oust the Taliban regime.
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