Hundreds of high-ranking Afghan officials, MPs, dignitaries and other guests attended the official ceremony on Sunday to mark the 4th anniversary of the assassination of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani.
Guests filled the Loya Jirga tent in Kabul for the commemoration ceremony which was addressed by key figures including President Ashraf Ghani, former president Hamid Karzai, ex-Jihadi leader Abdul Rasoul Sayyaf and Rabbani's son, current foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani.
Burhanuddin Rabbani served as president of Afghanistan between 1992 and 1996. Following the ousting of the Taliban in 2001, Rabbani returned to Kabul and served as a temporary president from November to December 2001, until Karzai was chosen at the Bonn International Conference on Afghanistan to take over as head of state.
On 20 September 2011, Rabbani was assassinated by a suicide bomber in his home in Kabul.
In his speech to the guests at Sunday's ceremony, Ghani appealed to the nation to unite in order to bring about peace. He said it was for this very reason that Rabbani, who at the time of his death had been the head of the High Peace Council, had sacrificed his life.
Ghani said Rabbani, had worked tirelessly with tribal elders to forge peace.
Karzai meanwhile spoke of his long friendship with Rabbani but emphasized the need for Afghan youths to stay and help rebuild the country and its economy.
He said that he was a prime example of someone who had been educated abroad only to return to the country – as president. He also pointed out that Rabbani's son, Salahuddin Rabbani was also foreign educated but had come home and was now foreign minister.
Karzai said the current problems facing Afghanistan can be resolved in time and that these issues are only temporary ones.
Karzai said there are well educated and intelligent young people in the country – people who must stay to help build the economy.
On the topic of Pakistan, Karzai drove home the fact that Afghanistan does not have a problem with the people of the country but rather a problem with their intelligence agency – the Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the military.
He said Afghans must remember Pakistani civilians are our brothers and said he was grateful to them for having taken so many Afghans in as refugees.
He said Rabbani's assassination had been an attempt to destroy the peace process – a process Rabbani had been committed to at the time of his death.
He said that shortly before Rabbani's death, they had planned to hold a Loya Jirga on peace
Sayyaf meanwhile used the time to motivate and praise the Afghan national security forces for their efforts to fight insurgency but he made it quite clear that he though Daesh is un-Islamic and cruel.
He also focused on the key role Rabbani played in the peace process and said this was why he was killed.
According to him, government needs to take a stand against the enemy to fight for peace. He said that outsiders can't help resolve Afghan issues.
But he also called on the youth to stay in the country.
The final speaker of the ceremony was Rabbani's son, Salahuddin Rabbani, who said his father had been committed to achieving peace.
In conclusion, Salahuddin Rabbani said it is now the time for the younger generation to get involved and work towards achieving goals of the former Jihadi leaders.
Meanwhile, senior government officials and family of the late president, Burhanuddin Rabbani, also attended a wreath laying ceremony at his grave at Wazir Akbar Khan Hill in Kabul on Sunday.
Second Vice President Sarwar Danish, Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani and a number of his relatives attended the ceremony to commemorate the fourth death anniversary of the ex-president's death.