News - Afghanistan
Ahmad Massoud, the son of Ahmad Shah Massoud – the northern alliance commander and national hero who was assassinated in a suicide attack 14 years ago - called on Afghanistan's youth to mark the event by donating blood to the Afghan security forces.
He urged them to visit a blood bank in tribute to all the fallen heroes in the country.
Martyrs Week started Wednesday, September 9 and runs through to September 15.
In addition to his public appeal during an interview with TOLOnews, Massoud touched on his father's death and spoke out about the day of the incident, how his family had heard the news and about the difficulties in the days that followed.
He said his father was very attentive to his family despite being busy with all his political and military activities. He also said Afghanistan will never find a leader of his caliber again and nor will his family have such a caring person in their lives.
He focused however on the irresponsible behavior that has been seen in the past by the youth during Martyrs Week – particularly on Massoud Day. It has become common practice for young people to drive through the streets of Kabul firing weapons into the air.
"It is good that the younger generation show their interest even 14 years after Ahmad Shah Massoud's assassination. But it is through neglect that we didn't show them the right way to commemorate this day," he said.
"I am completely against such kind of acts," he added.
Instead, he said he wants to change the culture of celebration so that in future the youth donate blood instead.
He also said that the number of civilians being killed and injured in the war – as well as that of security forces – was a matter of concern for him. Again he called on the youth to help – this time to support the Afghan security forces.
"Our soldiers are being killed on the battle field. They spill their blood on the frontline but we have decided to donate our blood here and pay tribute to their sacrifices," he added.
Ahmad Massoud, who is currently studying in London, but is in Afghanistan on holiday, said he will return to the country in a few years and serve the nation.
To watch the whole interview, click here: