The flag of Afghanistan flew outside Harrow Council for the first time ever to mark 100 years of independence.

A ceremony organised by Cllr Peymana Assad, who represents Roxeth ward, brought councillors, council officers and community leaders together to recognise the occasion.

Afghanistan was granted full control of its foreign policy on August 19, 1919 and the date is celebrated annually as a national holiday in the country.

Cllr Assad – the first person of Afghan origin to be elected to public office in the UK – said she was proud to see the flag fly outside her local civic centre.

She said: “It was an honour to be able to raise for the first time at our council building, the Afghan flag to mark 100 years of Afghanistan reclaiming it’s foreign affairs independence from Britain.

“We honour the sacrifices of British and Afghan soldiers who fought terrorism side by side in Afghanistan, we honour the contributions of the British-Afghan community to Harrow and also honour our continued friendship between our two great nations.”

While the event was a joyous – and noteworthy – occasion, it was tinged with sadness as a minute’s silence was held to commemorate the victims of a suicide attack in Kabul that killed 63 people.

Cllr Assad added: “The country is still marked by violence but we continue to pray for peace for the Afghan people, and is also why we held a one minute silence in respect of those who lost their lives in the bombing at a wedding ceremony in Kabul and those who continue to do so.

“Marking this momentous occasion of 100 years of independence also shows our commitment to continue to stand together.”