Protests: Karzai wants civilians, properties protected
KABUL(PAN): President Hamid Karzai asked security officials to take maximum arrangements to protect civilians and public and private properties during protest demonstrations against the Quran burning in US.
Karzai, who presided over a high-level meeting of security officials at the Presidential Palace, appealed to the US to arrest the Florida church pastor, who set on fire a copy of the Quran, for creating violent protests that led to deaths of many people in Afghanistan over the past three days.
Thirty people, including 10 UN workers, have been killed and 150 others wounded since the demonstrations started on Friday in northern Balkh and southern Kandahar provinces
Besides Afghan security officials, the meeting was attended by NATO and US forces top commander, Gen. David Petraeus, the US ambassador to Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, the NATO's civilian representative, Mark Sidwill, and other foreign diplomats and officials, a statement issued from the President's Office said.
Karzai urged both houses of the US Parliament to strongly condemn the incident of Quran burning and make sure such incidents should not happen in future.
Eikenberry supported Karzai's remarks, saying the Quran burning was disrespect to the sentiments of Muslims and their faith. He said he would convey the concerns of Afghan people to US officials and people.
US president Barack Obama said on Saturday the killings in Afghanistan after a fundamentalist Christian US preacher burned a holy Quran were "outrageous", calling the desecration of the holy text an act of bigotry
"The desecration of any holy text, including the Quran, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry," Obama said in a statement released by the White House. "However, to attack and kill innocent people in response is outrageous, and an affront to human decency and dignity," he said.
“No religion tolerates the slaughter and beheading of innocent people, and there is no justification for such a dishonorable and deplorable act,” Obama said
President Karzai said it was the right of every Afghan to express his feelings, but causing killing of innocent people and damages to public and private properties under the pretext of demonstrations were not acceptable.
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