World leaders call Rabbani murder a great loss
KABUL (PAN): The US-led global fraternity has strongly condemned the assassination of High Peace Council Prof. Burhanuddin Rabbani, calling his death a serious blow to efforts at reconciliation in the war-hit country.
He was killed along with three members of the panel in a suicide attack on his residence in Kabul on Tuesday evening. Council Secretary Masoom Stanikzai was wounded in the blast in the high-security Wazir Akbar Khan neighbourhood.
Rabbani's death was a great loss to the peace process, said the international community led by US President, Barack Obama and the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. But they asserted that there would be no dilution in their determination to establish long-term peace and security in the country.
"I think we both believe that -- we will not be deterred from creating a path whereby Afghans can live in freedom and safety and security and prosperity, and that it is going to be important to continue the efforts to bring all elements of Afghan society together to end what has been a senseless cycle of violence," Obama said at a meeting with Karzai in New York.
The ex-president was a man who cared deeply about Afghanistan and had been a valued advisor to President Karzai, enormously contributing to rebuilding the country, Obama added. "So it is a tragic loss. We want to extend our heartfelt condolences to you and to his family, and the people of Afghanistan."
Karzai said the mission undertaken by Rabbani was vital for the Afghan people, peace and security of his country. "We will miss him very much. I don't think, Mr. President, that we can fill his place easily. He was one of the few people in Afghanistan with the distinction that we cannot easily find…"
UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon reiterated his commitment to supporting Afghanistan and its people in attaining peace and stability.
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said Rabbani worked tirelessly to lead the peace effort so that his people might one day be able to cast off conflict and hate, and be free to see their families grow and prosper. "I believe that the best tribute to Rabbani is for this act of hatred to further strengthen the resolve of those striving to bring peace, freedom and justice to Afghanistan."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the US would support the Afghan government as they pursued the ones responsible for this cowardly attack and bring them to justice. "And we will continue to increase pressure on Al Qaeda and the Taliban. We have always known that there are those who will do all they can to undermine the cause of peace and reconciliation."
British Foreign Secretary William Hague, appalled by the news, said the attack was perpetrated by people who wanted to spread violence and bloodshed. "He worked tirelessly for a peaceful and secure future for Afghanistan and we are confident that this in no way will reduce the determination of the government of Afghanistan to continue to work for peace and reconciliation."
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen described the bombing as an attack on the Afghan people. "To those who offer only death and destruction to the Afghan people, our message is clear: you will not prevail. You will not stop the Afghan people from taking their destiny in their own hands and you will not shake the resolve of the international and Afghan partnership."
US Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, views Rabbani's assassination as a great setback to the cause of reconciliation. "He was a historic figure who fought the Taliban in the 1990s and who continued to work for peace and stability as the head of the High Peace Council."
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack. They said the people of Pakistan stood by their Afghan brothers and sisters in this moment of grief.
"Rabbani was a friend of Pakistan with whom we were working closely within the Afghanistan-Pakistan Joint Commission for Reconciliation and Peace on a vision for peace and prosperity in Afghanistan. He has been martyred by the enemies of peace," they added.
The embassy of Turkey said: "We wish God’s mercy upon Rabbani and express our condolences to his family. On this sad occasion, we reiterate our strong solidarity with friendly and brotherly Afghanistan. "
Indian Foreign Minister SM Krishna fondly recalled his meetings with Rabbani in Kabul and again in New Delhi in last July, when he had shared his vision of a harmonious and prosperous Afghanistan.
"Tragically, the forces of terror and hatred have silenced yet another powerful voice of reason and peace in Afghanistan. We unreservedly condemn this act of great brutality.
I offer my deepest condolences to and solidarity with the members of the family of Rabbani and the people of Afghanistan."
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.