Afghan Independence Day is celebrated in Afghanistan on 19 August to commemorate the Treaty of Rawalpindi in 1919. The treaty granted independence from Britain; although Afghanistan was never officially a part of the British Empire. The British fought three wars with Afghanistan. The First Anglo-Afghan War 1839–1842 led to the massacre of the entire British invading force by Afghan forces in the city Jalalabad. But the new British forces reinvaded shortly, defeated the Afghan forces, rescued the POWs and successfully withdrew.
The Second Anglo-Afghan War 1878–80 led to the British victory over the Afghan army in Kandahar, bringing the Afghan rebellion to an end. The war left the British in control of the territories ceded by Yaqub Khan and ensuring British control of Afghanistan's foreign policy in exchange for protection and a subsidy. The Third Anglo-Afghan War 1919 led the British to achieve the reaffirmation of Durand Line and give up on their imperialist ambition to conquer Afghanistan and Afghanistan declared its independence. The event is recognized throughout Afghanistan and also celebrates Afghan culture and national pride. It is celebrated every year.
In some Afghan Diaspora communities where many of the world's millions of Afghan refugees live, Afghan Independence Day is referred to and celebrated as Afghan Refugee Day. On this day Afghan refugees exchange presents and participate in traditional Afghan games and activities to celebrate both their Afghan heritage and their refugee experience.
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