There were no visible signs of Afghanistan’s 102nd Independence Day celebrations on Thursday as the war-weary nation grappled with uncertain times.
For years, Afghanistan would mark this day with various public and private festivals in memory of obtaining full sovereignty from the British over the country’s foreign affairs back in 1919.
This year was different, with the fall of the government and the Taliban's rapid advances across the country, including the capital Kabul.
The Taliban, the de facto rulers of Afghanistan, issued a statement commemorating the occasion.
“Fortunately, today we are celebrating the anniversary of our independence from British rule at a time when the United States, another proud superpower in the world, has failed miserably against the jihadist resistance and has been forced to withdraw from Afghanistan,” stated the Taliban in a statement.
It added that the Taliban intend to work in unity and sincerity for the rule of the “Islamic system” and for reconstruction and prosperity.
Though some Afghans celebrated the day in a few cities, including Khost, Jalalabad, and Assadabad, others took to social media to express their emotions.
It is pivotal to note that Afghanistan has been marking its Independence Day from the British, but now with the arrival of the Taliban, a debate has started over changing the tri-color Afghan flag back to the white Taliban flag.