By: The Kabul Times
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has inaugurated the Darulaman Palace on Wednesday night in Kabul after the renovation of the historic site.
President Ghani, First Lady Bibi Gul Ghani, Princesses Hindia and Najia, Soraya Malik, granddaughter of King Amanullah Khan, cabinet members, lawmakers, civil activists and other officials attended the inaugural ceremony on Wednesday night.
The president conferred medals on the two officials of presidential palace national development and support department who led the renovation effort.
The ceremony was first addressed by Independent Directorate of Local Governance (IDLG) head Abdul Matin Baig who said the Afghan people were real heroes of independence of Afghanistan.
He said Afghans protected their country for centuries against foreign invasions and resisted against aggression.
Princess Hindia, addressing the gathering, thanked President Ghani for the renovation of the historic Palace that was damaged by decades of conflict.
Princess Hindia, daughter of King Amanullah Khan, who also spoke at the event, said, “The first words of King Amanullah Khan after the independence of the country were “drop weapons and take pens because an illiterate country cannot get freedom.”
“The biggest wish of my father was building schools for both boys and girls and my mother, Malaka Soraya built Masturat High School which was later renamed Malalai High School”, she said.
President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, talking at the event, said: “We rehabilitated the ruined palace of Darulaman. This great historic palace has an amazing similarity with the revival of this nation. “
“This palace is an example of the history which shows we owned state and dignity”, he said.
“Terrorists were able to delay the day of our independence celebrations, but they would be never able to detract us from the route of development and change,” he said.
President Ghani said, “We will continue our struggle. We will never surrender to a small minority who is the enemy of our history and development.”
Enemies of Afghanistan tried a lot to destroy its historic monuments, but they failed for hundreds of years and the Afghans raised their heads again and again from the rubbles of aggressions, he said.
“Our heinous enemies destroyed our Buddha statues to cut us off from the old civilization by explosions, but they failed”, he said.
“They stole historic monuments of Nangarhar and Paktia and displayed them in their homes in Punjab, they did it to remove history from these two provinces and take them as their own territory,” he said.
About peace, he said, “We want a peace in which our dignity is protected and our nation’s voice not lost and our daughters go to school without fear and our women have high participation in government, economy and society.” He said he would not let any group destroy the Afghans national identity.
“Negotiations between the US and Taliban have been under our watch. We do not share information on this regard because no direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban have begun. Once the US and Taliban reach an agreement and we start negotiations with the Taliban, then we will share details with the people,” the president said.
He said the next presidential election would be held for survival of the republic system and measures for the process had already been adopted.
The ceremony was continued with patriotic performance of the Ministry of Education Melody Team and traditional clothes show.
The inauguration, originally scheduled to coincide with the 100th Independence Day of Afghanistan, was postponed due to a deadly suicide attack inside a wedding hall that killed 81 people and wounded 200 others.
The Palace was built by King Amanullah Khan in the early 1920s. It was destroyed during the 40-years civil strife. The renovation process was set in motion in May 2016 and completed at a cost of $16 million.