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    Karzai inaugurates huge mosque in Kabul

    KABUL (PAN): President Hamid Karzai on Friday inaugurated a huge mosque in the Deh Afghanan area of central Kabul province, officials said.

    At the inaugural ceremony, attended by Cabinet ministers, religious scholars, traders and residents, Karzai expressed pleasure over the construction of the Haji Abdur Rahman Mosque.

    “It is a moment of pleasure that such a big mosque has been built by an Afghan citizen,'' remarked Karzai, who hoped the worship place would help cement the spirit of brotherhood and unity among the people.

    Urging his countrymen to forge unity and ensure a bright future for the country, the president lauded the gesture of (late) Abdur Rahman’s sons, who are living in the United States.

    Also present on the occasion was High Peace Council Chairman Salahuddin Rabbani, who called the construction of the mosque a welcome investment in the Hereafter.

    Urging scholars to play an effective role in the restoration of stability, Rabbani said: "I hope the construction of the mosque will help spread the message of peace.''

    Eng. Rahim Gul Samim, who worked on the project, told Pajhwok Afghan News the construction work of the mosque began in 2001. Scheduled to be completed within six years, but the project was delayed due to red-tape.

    The three-storey mosque has been built on 3.5 acres of land and has the capacity to accommodate about 10,000 worshippers, he said, adding that one storey was meant for women worshippers.

    The mosque’s library is equipped with 150,000 books that residents could read.  Haji Abdur Rahman’s son, Eng. Shoaib, said: "I am happy that my father’s dream has come true today.''