Afghanistan’s history is rife with forceful conquests. Its ideal position between the Indian sub-continent, Iran, and central Asia has appealed to many conquerors through the ages. The Persian King, Darius established his interest in the country first in 500 BC and was followed closely by Alexander the Great in 329 BC. An Iranian conqueror, Mahmud of Ghazni, claimed the Afghan territory in the 11th Century. Then Ghengis Khan attained control over Afghanistan in the 13th Century.
These early travelers may have been among Afghanistan’s first conquerors but they were far from being the last. In recent history, Afghanistan was subjected to the rule of the British Empire. Britain, in its attempt to gain an economic foothold in the world, used Afghanistan for its ideal trade route location.
The people of Afghanistan fought hard against the British Empire to achieve their freedom. The first war against the British Empire occurred between 1838 and 1842. This was followed by the Afghan’s second attempt at independence resulting in the war of 1878. It was the third Afghan war, however, in 1919 during which many Afghans lost their lives. This was the final war which forced the British into peaceful negotiations as a means to end the conflict.
August 19th is an important day for the people of Afghanistan as it serves as a reminder of their fight for independence. This day is observed as a national holiday called Independence Day. Independence is a human right for every individual and also for every nation because every person, as well as every nation, wants freedom. The Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919 between Afghanistan and Great Britain brought an end to the wars and provided a means through which the Afghan people achieved complete independence from British rule.
Independence Day holds great significance for the people of Afghanistan since it embodies the unifying fight through which the Afghan people won their independence. Presently, Independence Day in Afghanistan has lost some of its luster due to this country’s ill-fated appeal to foreign conquerors. Afghanistan seems destined for turmoil as it faces yet, another war.
Although Independence Day is losing its affection from the people of Afghanistan, in some aspects, when the day returns annually, it continues to serve as a reminder of Afghanistan’s fight for freedom. This day awakens feelings of triumph in the hearts of the Afghan people and also provides inspiration to overcome adversity. History is the best predictor of the future and Afghanistan’s history proves that this country will regain their power from foreign hands and emerge stronger more unified at the end.