|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Road diplomacy: India names street after Afghan war hero
April 05, 2007 15:16 IST
Reflecting their growing bilateral relations, India Thursday named a road in the national capital after the slain Afghan war hero, Ahmad Shah Massoud, the first such honour extended to a leader from that country.
The road, near the Afghanistan embassy in the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri, was a "symbol of ties" that bind the two nations that have always "enjoyed excellent relations", External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said unveiling the plaque with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
Describing Massoud as a visionary and a friend of India, Mukherjee said the Lion of Panjsheer, as he is better known, understood the threat of "globalisation of terror" and fought, dreamt and prayed all his life for a free Afghanistan, which is a reality today.
"This road is a symbol of ties that bind India and Afghanistan and I am confident that it will pave the way for even stronger ties between our two countries and in our region," the minister added.
Expressing his gratitude, Karzai remembered Massoud as a friend who waged a struggle against "Al-Qaeda, interference from neighbours and the rule of terror in Afghanistan."
"He was so important in the war against terror and for the freedom of Afghanistan that terrorism found every possible way to get him out of their way and that was to assassinate
him.... Afghanistan is honoured to have him as our hero," he said.
Massoud joins world leaders like Uruguay's national hero Jose Artigas, Kazakh poet Abai Kunanbaiuly, Irish leader Eamon De Valera, novelist Andre Malraux and Argentinian icon Jose De San Martin who have roads named after them in Lutyen's Delhi.