The UN today termed the burning of the Quran and other religious materials in Afghanistan by US-led international forces a “sad mistake” and expressed confidence that those behind the incident would 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 the 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 he shared concerns of the people of Afghanistan regarding this “sad mistake that hurts the religious feelings of the people.”
He said the United Nations deeply respects the Islamic faith,traditions and culture of Afghanistan.
Kubis said 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.