UN role in Afghanistan's reconstruction praised
KABUL (PAN): United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) Staffan de Mistura on Tuesday voiced his concern at the recent desecration of the Holy Quran in Florida, an act that has been condemned by many, including the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
At a meeting with Afghanistan's Ulema Council Chairman Maulvi Qayamuddin Kashaaf, Mistura expressed his understanding of Afghan religious scholars' outrage at the sacrilegious act -- a statement from UNAMA said.
Kashaaf also condemned and regretted the killing of UNAMA staff. The diplomat thanked Kashaaf for his words and said that no act was a justification for an attack on innocent civilians who were in Afghanistan to assist the people.
The Ulema Council praised the work of UNAMA in Afghanistan particularly for its leading role in coordinating international assistance for Afghan reconstruction efforts. Kashaaf added that UNAMA represented the whole international community, including Islamic states.
Minister of Hajj and Religious Affairs Dr. Mohammad Yousaf Niazi, at a separate meeting with the top UN official, also condemned the outrageous act. He said the Holy Quran underlined respect for guests.
"UNAMA staffers are our guests, they have come to serve the Afghan people; they respect our belief, culture and tradition and Afghans should respect them and their lives," the minister was quoted as saying.
The statement said UNAMAwould continue to remain in touch with religious leaders and scholars of Afghanistan. Mistura, responding to a request from Kashaaf, reiterated the UN mission's intention to stay and work for a better future for all Afghans.
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