The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoF) of Afghanistan on Wednesday strongly criticized the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Republic of Turkey for their attempt to enlist Masnavi Ma'navi (collection of poems) of prominent Persian poet Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī in UNESCO as a common heritage of Iran and Turkey.
MoFA said that is it taking the matter up with UNESCO.
Meanwhile, a number of cultural dignitaries have said that government maintains responsibility to protect Afghanistan cultural heritages.
Aghan writers have blasted Iran and Turkey for announcing Rumi's Masnavi Ma'navi, who is also known as Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Balkhī, as a common heritage of the two nations.
The Iranian officials have said that although Rumi was buried in Konya city in Turkey he wrote his poems in Persian, and therefore Iran and Turkey are keeping the rights to share Rumi as a common heritage.
"Maulan (Rumi) belongs to present day Afghanistan and yesterday's Khorasan. It is the responsibility of the Afghan government to take swift action about it to protect our heritage," Poet Haidar Wojudi said.
"We were informed about the topic through the Afghan embassy in Tehran, the ministry of foreign affairs consulted the Afghan embassy in Paris and asked them to discuss the topic with UNESCO," MoFA spokesman Shekib Mustaghni said.
"Until now it is only a claim, the ministry of information and culture has discussed the topic with UNESCO in Kabul and expressed their concerns about the topic," said Haroon Hakimi, spokesman for the ministry of information and culture.
Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī, known popularly simply as Rumi (1207 – 17 December 1273), was a 13th-century Persian poet, jurist, Islamic scholar, theologian, and Sufi mystic.
Rumi was born to native Persian-speaking parents, originally from the Balkh city of Khorasan, in present-day Afghanistan. He was born either in Wakhsh, a village located on the Vakhsh River in the greater Balkh region in present-day Tajikistan, or in the city of Balkh, located in present-day Afghanistan.
Rumi's father was Bahā ud-Dīn Walad, a theologian, jurist and a mystic from Balkh, who was also known by the followers of Rumi as Sultan al-Ulama or "Sultan of the Scholars".
The popular hagiographer assertions that have claimed the family's descent from the Caliph Abu Bakr does not hold on closer examination and is rejected by modern scholars.
The claim of maternal descent from the Khwarazmshah for Rumi or his father is also seen as a non-historical hagiographical tradition designed to connect the family with royalty, but this claim is rejected for chronological and historical reasons.
The most complete genealogy offered for the family stretches back to famous Hanafi Jurists.