Pakistan on Tuesday condemned the burning of the Koran under the supervision of a pastor in the U.S. this past Sunday and demanded a response from the United Nations and Washington.

President Asif Ali Zardari chose to begin his address to the joint session of Parliament with a condemnation of the desecration of the Koran. Addressing the joint session for the fourth time — the first Pakistani President to ever do so — Mr. Zardari described the desecration as a serious set-back to efforts at promoting harmony among civilised communities throughout the world. The President also urged Parliament to adopt a resolution asking the U.N. to address the issue for the sake of harmony and peace in the world. In a separate statement, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said Pakistan expected the U.S. Administration and the American people as well as all civilized societies to take due cognisance and express their revulsion at this sacrilegious act.

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