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Jakarta meeting significant for Afghan peace process

AT-KABUL: The resolution of a religious scholars’ meeting held Friday in the Indonesian capital, is for the success of the peace process in Afghanistan, the High Peace Council believes.

Clerics from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Indonesia called suicide attacks and attacks on the civilians in Afghanistan ‘haram’ (unlawful) in Islam. They called on the Taliban and other armed opposition groups to abandon war and violence and join the Afghan government’s peace initiative.

The peace council hopes the meeting could help peace efforts in the country, with Attaul Rahman Salim, the council’s deputy chief saying that the meeting’s resolution was a “good decision calling war in Afghanistan unlawful”.

He said that for the first time, Pakistani clerics spoke against war and supported the Afghan peace program.

“This is the first time that the conversant Pakistani clerics declare support of the peace process and express hatred of war and terrorist activities. This, I think is a good achievement that gives us hope for the success of the peace process,” said Salim, adding that Pakistani clerics also promised to talk to the Taliban leaders to convince them join the peace process.

The clerics meeting also supported president Ghani’s peace stance, calling talks the best way to overcome challenges.

But, political expert Wadir Safi, said that the meeting did not issue any ‘fatwa’ (verdict) against the Afghan war and Pakistani clerics did not say they would persuade Taliban to come to peace talks.

“They said that suicide attacks are not according to Islam and they generally said that they support peace in Afghanistan. Pakistani clerics should have said that Taliban were their students in madrasas (seminaries), so they would bring Taliban to peace talks,” Safi said.

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