United Nations: The UN Wednesday termed the
burning of the Quran and other religious materials in Afghanistan by US-led international forces as a "sad mistake" and expressed confidence that those behind the incident will
be held accountable.
Protests had erupted in Afghanistan over reports that the
UN-mandated International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
troops had burned copies of the holy book along with other
religious material, at the Bagram base, one of the largest US
bases in Afghanistan.
In the wake of the incident, Special Representative of
the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Afghanistan Jan Kubis met
Chairman of the Ulema Council of Afghanistan with Maulawi
Qiyamuddin Kashaaf in Kabul, according to a UN statement here.
The SRSG "expressed his full confidence that ISAF will
rapidly conclude the investigation, take appropriate follow-up
action as soon as possible and move quickly to hold people
behind this incident accountable."
Kubis told Maulawi Kashaaf that he shared concerns of the
people of Afghanistan regarding this "sad mistake that hurts
the religious feelings of the people."
He stressed that the United Nations deeply respects the
Islamic faith, traditions and culture of Afghanistan.
Kubis noted that US General John Allen, the top commander
of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, had apologised to
the people and authorities in Afghanistan and ordered an
investigation into the incident, which has sparked outrage and
massive protests in the country.
Led by Defence Secretary Leon Panetta, the US also
apologised to the people of Afghanistan on the "inappropriate
treatment" of the holy Quran.
The State Department termed it as a "horrific" incident.
First Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 16:50