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Editorial: Hopes high over Jakarta meeting

Religious scholars from Afghanistan and Pakistan were hosted Friday by the Indonesian ones in Jakarta to discuss the roots and reasons of the ongoing war in Afghanistan and reach an agreement to find a solution and durable peace in the long-time war-torn country, where the people tired of war, bloodshed and destruction’s first and basic desire and dream is peace, calm and stability.

The meeting that is considered very important by the government of Afghanistan as well as the High Peace Council, was called in January when Indonesian president paid a visit to Pakistan and then to Afghanistan.

The meeting in a resolution called terrorist attacks an act against Islam and asked the conflict sides to abandon clashes and join the peace process. The resolution also emphasized that terrorism should not be attributed to any religion, sect, nationality and ethnicity.

Afghanistan has been long trying to persuade armed opposition groups particularly the Taliban to stop killing of their brothers and sisters and join the peace initiatives run by the High Peace Council.

Pakistan’s participation as the main player in the Afghan conflict with harboring and supporting Taliban and the Haqqani network is very important in the Jakarta meeting, according to the officials from the peace council, who hope that meeting of Pakistani clerics with the Afghan and Indonesian religious scholars could convince them that the war in Afghanistan is not ‘jihad’.

As a Muslim country, we expect Pakistan to do more helping our peace efforts by persuading Taliban to join the peace program. Many ways were tried but gave less fruit to end the war. This time, the hope of Afghan people and government is referred to the religious scholars who are honorable in every Muslim society and enjoy considerable respect and influence on the Islamic nations.

We hope that what Pakistani clerics agreed in the Jakarta meeting that war and killing of civilians are against Islam, would be a lesson for the Taliban who claim they are fighting for Islam.

A national consensus has already taken place for peace that is the first and a strong step. Now, we need a regional consensus to help our efforts toward peace as the second, stronger and more confident step.

The people of Afghanistan appreciate Indonesia as the largest Muslim country for its initiative regarding the Jakarta meeting and hope that the Islamic scholars’ gathering fulfills their long dream about peace. Indonesia has influence on both Pakistani government and clerics, and we hope it convince Islamabad to encourage Taliban to say ‘Yes’ to the peace call from Afghanistan.

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