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    Rabbani's funeral held at Presidency

    KABUL (PAN): Ex-president Prof. Burhanuddin Rabbani's funeral prayers, attended by foreign dignitaries and senior government officials, were offered amid tight security at the Presidential Palace in Kabul on Friday.

    Abdur Rab Rasul Sayyaf, ex-jihadi leader and lawmaker, led the funeral at 10:38 am. Among others, President Hamid Karzai, members of Parliament and Cabinet, Rabbani's relatives, government officials and diplomats were in attendance.

    "May Allah give Rabbani the status of martyrs, true faithful, preachers and saints. We pray to Almighty Allah to eliminate the enemies of Rabbani, Islam and humanity," the ex-jihadi leader said while addressing the participants.

    Karzai said in a brief statement before the funeral prayer: "We are mourning today a man who was a great jihadi leader and promoter of knowledge. He laid down his life for the cause."

    Conferring the Martyr of Afghanistan title on the late leader, Karzai praised Rabbani's untiring efforts for bringing peace and stability to the country. The president promised pursuing the goal of national reconciliation.

    The High Peace Council chairman's assassins were foreign agents, who employed deceit to kill Rabbani, Karzai alleged, without elaborating. "They have disrespected Islamic values and Afghan traditions."

    Salahuddin Rabbani, a son of the former president, urged the government to use all its influence to unmask the killers and bring them to justice. "After the ouster of the Taliban regime, Rabbani willingly transferred power to the transitional authority in line with the UN decision."

    Foreign leaders and diplomats paid respects to the Jamiat chief, whose coffin was placed before the Presidency before the funeral.