Terence P. Jeffrey
February 27, 2012
Three days after President Barack Obama dispatched his ambassador to Afghanistan to hand deliver a personal letter from the president of the United States to Afghan President Hamid Karzai apologizing because U.S. forces at Bagram Air Force Base had mistakenly burnt some Korans, Karzai has responded to the gesture in a statement broadcast live on Afghan television.
Karzai, according to a BBC translation of his remarks made Sunday, told the Afghan people he was speaking to them after discussing the matter with “jihadi leaders,” “prominent scholars,” and Afghan elected officials, and that he spoke for the “pure sentiments” of the “Afghan nation” and the “Islamic world,” when he said: “We call on the US government to bring the perpetrators of the act to justice and put them on trial and punish them.”
At the same time Karzai was demanding the prosecution and punishment of U.S. troops involved in the Koran-burning incident, he conceded that the U.S. government had indicated that the Koran burning “was not deliberate.”
“We all know that regrettably some days ago an American soldier burnt our Holy Koran,” Karzai said, according to the BBC translation. “We condemn this vicious act in the strongest terms. The government and the people, scholars, tribal dignitaries, spiritual figures of Afghanistan, the educated people of our country all share the people’s feelings… Our people’s sensitiveness is right and is laudable.”
This article was posted: Monday, February 27, 2012 at 9:07 am