Religious scholars and influential clerics from Afghanistan’s western provinces on Tuesday said that the Taliban’s narrative of establishing an Islamic political system in Afghanistan should not obstruct the peace process in the country.
Speaking to a gathering of scholars in Herat, Mawlavi Khudadad Saleh, the head of the Herat clerical council, rejected the Taliban’s ‘unilateral’ stance about the establishment of an Islamic system in the country, suggesting that only Afghanistan’s scholars can decide about such a system.
At the event, some other speakers said that the current war in Afghanistan has no justification as the war takes the lives of innocent Muslims.
“Shia has the right, Sunni has the right, Hindu has the right to live in Afghanistan, all layers of the society should be considered in talks. We do not talk about an imposed Islam, we talk about the Islam which the Quran talks about. We have respected Ulemas in Afghanistan, only these respected clerics can decide about it,” said Mawlavi Khudadad Saleh, the head of Herat Clerical Council.
“The war is no longer justified, it has no meaning now, we must surrender to peace. The war is imposed on us by others, we all know it, the entire nation know about it, no one supports this war, even the Taliban do not want it, because this war has been imposed on the Taliban too, the government does not support it as well,” said Mawlavi Khudadad Saleh, the head of Herat Clerical Council.
“We hope that the second round of the intra-Afghan talks are started on January 5 in Qatar. The religious scholars fully support the peace process, we want a system in Afghanistan that reflects all layers of society, all ethnicities, all groups and schools of thought,” said Abdul Khaliq Haqqani, a cleric in Herat.
Speakers also called on the Taliban to agree to a ceasefire.
“The Afghan people want a ceasefire as soon as possible, they want the talks to give an outcome. Rejecting this credible demand is an insult to the sentiments of the people,” said Abdul Saboor Rahmani, a cleric in Herat.
Addressing the gathering, Sayed Wahid Qatali, the governor of Herat, said the current scale of violence in the country, particularly in the major cities and towns, has disappointed the people about reaching to peace.
“What is going on now in our cities, we can't ignore the involvement of the Taliban in it. We want the Taliban to avoid now what they--and other terrorist groups--did over the past 20 years. Our intelligence agencies are very powerful, we know where the terror takes root, mounting military pressure will not help us to reach a solution,” said Wahid Qatali, governor of Herat.
This comes as the negotiators from both sides of the Afghan peace negotiations are expected to kick start their second round of talks in Doha on January 5.
Previously, scholars from Kuwait, Indonesia and some other Islamic countries have described the war in Afghanistan as "un-Islamic."