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Editorial: Ulema’s role imperative in peace process

Since longtime the Afghan masses have pinned high hopes on the religious scholars and prayer leaders for achieving the goal of peace, prosperity and development. None can deny the role of Ulema in Afghanistan in such a war which fought on lens of religious believes. But killing of innocent Afghans is not Jihad—something the Taliban insurgents and other extremist groups have been adhering to be. We call terrorists outfits hardline militants, which even show no mercy to the women and children. Taliban can’t deceive Afghan masses by calling their irrational war as holy war against Afghan and foreign forces. There is no room to be misled by the narrative of believers and infidels. The militant groups are too atrocious if one rejects their war as “Jihad” may be excommunicated or killed. Jiahd is not terrorism—terrorism is not Jihad, the Taliban insurgents must bear this in mind. A faithful Muslim will never kill innocent people, innocent children and women. How is it possible the terrorist groups claiming to be strong Muslim believers but kill the innocent Afghan masses? Even killing of none-believers is prohibited according to teachings of our Holy Religion (Islam). For many Muslim, it is hard to believe that practicing Muslim individuals can kill people in the most barbaric act such as suicide attacks, and other devastation, and inhuman deed which are totally in contrary with Islamic teachings. It is worth mentioning that the fresh wave of bomb blast in parts of the country is a matter of grave concern. Previously, militants used to blow up music and CD centers, but now holy places like mosques, funerals and shrines are not safe either. No Afghan feels secure while offering prayer at mosques or walking through bazaars and attending public meetings. Indubitably, we will fight conspiracy theories of the militants and the Afghan government and the people do everything under capacity to rescue Afghans from their (militants) swindling act. Despite, the iron hand of the Afghan security forces that have killed thousands of militants, including Taliban and Islamic State (IS) fighters; we have other great elements in our society called (Ulema) to thwart evil designs of the militants. On Tuesday, hundreds of religious scholars gathered in Kabul from various parts of the country, asking the Taliban to protect national infrastructure and public welfare projects by renouncing violence and joining the reconciliation process. Around 700 religious scholars attended two-day conference “Ulema Consultative Conference on Peace”, called on Taliban to stop war, blasts and suicide attacks. Taliban must set in intra-Afghan dialogue and choose peaceful method for achieving their goals. Without doubt, religious scholars’ effort is very much needed in bringing peace. They can also facilitate peace negotiations. It has been for year that Afghan government and Ulema nationwide have been asking Taliban insurgents to nod for peace talks, and stop killing of innocent people. But such call fell on deaf ears because the Taliban insurgent was least interested in peace and reconciliation. If the Taliban insurgents are free in their thinking and decision, bluntly saying, if they (Taliban) are not dancing on foreigners tones, should have integrate into civil society, instead of bloodshed, should have up sleeves to work alongside their brothers and sisters in accelerating efforts to lead the country toward the path of development and prosperity. Since Ulema hold high esteem in Afghan society, they have to shoulder more responsibility to restore peace and to discourage the terrorists—but not to forget that besides Ulema it is everyone’s duty to play their parts in building and rebuilding the country. We must not turn blind eye that hater being spread in the name of religion and it’s the duty of the Ulema not only in Afghanistan but across the world, to free it from hate and violence.

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