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Opinion

Indian and Afghan Clerics Jointly Call on Taliban to Stop Attacks on Civilians

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Muslim clerics from India and Afghanistan have jointly issued a statement for the first time describing the war in Afghanistan as “illegitimate” and calling on the Taliban to stop attacks on civilian institutions and public infrastructure.

The statement was issued following a meeting of clergymen from the two countries held Wednesday at the Islamic Cultural Center of India in New Delhi, according to a statement issued by the Afghan Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

The “First Meeting of Islamic Scholars of Afghanistan and India” brought together religious scholars and “ulama” or clergymen from different Islamic institutions from the two countries. The meeting issued a joint statement calling for an immediate ceasefire in Afghanistan.

“The war and violence perpetrated against the government and people of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan by the Taliban, and the attacks by the Taliban on civilian institutions and public infrastructures go against the basic teachings of Islam and therefore it is illegitimate and has no religious justification, ”the statement said.

The statement added: “Islam is a religion of peace and calls for harmony and unity among Muslims, therefore we call on both parties to the conflict in Afghanistan to stop the war and declare an immediate national ceasefire. “.

Academics and clerics from both countries called on the Taliban and the Afghan government to “rise to the occasion and seize this rare opportunity to accelerate their negotiations to establish a just and lasting peace in Afghanistan.”

“We support the steps taken by the Afghan government to pave the way for lasting peace,” the statement said.

Noting that Afghanistan has made remarkable progress in various spheres over the past 19 years, scholars and clerics called for “hard-won achievements to be preserved and protected.”

“We call on other ulama and Islamic scholars to support the peace process in Afghanistan and speak out against the heinous attacks on innocent people and to call on the Taliban to accept a nationwide ceasefire and embrace peace. “says the statement. said.

Afghanistan’s cities have witnessed a series of attacks in recent weeks, targeting civil society activists, human rights workers and members of the media. Dozens of people were killed in these attacks and Interior Minister Massoud Andarabi blamed the Taliban for certain killings across the country. The group has denied involvement in the attacks.

The attacks have raised questions and concerns about the turbulent peace talks between government representatives and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar.

Following a recent visit to Islamabad by a high-level Taliban delegation to discuss the peace process, several videos emerged of Taliban leaders acknowledging that the group’s senior leadership is based in Pakistan and is consulted for all decisions related to the peace process. peace talks. The videos also showed Taliban leaders visiting terrorist training camps in Pakistan.

In response to these videos, the Afghan Foreign Ministry said that “the manifest presence and activities of Afghan insurgent elements and their leaders on Pakistani territory clearly violate Afghanistan’s national sovereignty and continue to cause crisis and instability in the region.” He urged the Pakistani government “not to allow its territory to be used by insurgents and elements who insist on continuing the war.”

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