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Quran burning probe: ISAF accused of delaying outcome

Quran burning probe: ISAF accused of delaying outcome

Mar 22, 2012 - 17:24

KABULinfo-icon (PANinfo-icon): Political analysts believe the International Security Assistance Force (ISAFinfo-icon) wants Afghans to forget the Quraninfo-icon burning incident by delaying the outcome of its investigation.

Last month, NATOinfo-icon-led soldiers mistakenly burnt four copies of the Quran on the Bagram Airbase, an incident that provoked anti-US sentiments across the country. As a result, more than 30 people were killed and 270 others

wounded during nationwide protests.

After the blasphemous act, a legal advisor to ISAF said on February 29 that four separate commissions had launched investigations into the incident. The probe bodies include a joint ISAF-Afghan commission, an Afghanistaninfo-icon Ulemainfo-icon Council’s panel, a parliamentary team and a US military committee.

The investigation launched by US troops would take at least 30 days to complete, he said, promising the findings of the ISAF-Afghan probe would be announced in a week.

“The one-month time has passed, but ISAF is yet to announce the findings. Foreign troops don’t want to publicise the result because the Quran burning is no crime under the US law,” political analyst, Waheed Muzhda, said.

Like probes into previous incidents of sacriliege, the latest investigation would yield no results, he believed. “If ISAF announces the result under pressure from Afghans, they would blame Afghan translators of the crime instead of the real culprits.”

Muzhda added the government of President Hamid Karzai could do nothing in this regard except using the US troops to quell Afghan sentiments.

Another analyst, Habibullah Rafi, also claimed ISAF would never announce the outcome of the investigations because the incident was preplanned. “Waiting for the results is futile. And it is impossible to punish the criminals,” he remarked.

“There are differences between Afghan and ISAF investigating teams over their findings and foreign troops want the incident to be forgotten by the people,” said political analyst, Mohammad Hassan Haqyar.

But public affairs officer with NATO-led troops in Afghanistan, Lt. Col. Jimmie E. Cummings, said they had completed the investigations. The findings are under a legal review before being sent to NATO commander Gen. John Allen.


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