Balkh scholars want foreigners to leave
MAZAR-I-SHARIF (PAN): Several religious scholars in northern Balkh province on Sunday opposed permanent foreign military bases in the country, hoping international forces would leave Afghanistan in the near future.
In a meeting called by the Balkh Islamic Brotherhood Council, the scholars urged all parties to the conflict to make peace and end hostilities. Hundreds of people also took part in the meeting.
A participant of the gathering, Mohammadullah said the ulema would resist the government's efforts at reaching an agreement with any country that raised questions about Afghanistan's sovereignty. The speakers asked the warring parties to support the government's peace campaign, he added.
Maulvi Mohammad Ismail, another participant, accused Pakistan of creating hurdles to peace in the country. Due to the Durand Line dispute, he said Islamabad did not want a stable and independent government in Kabul.
Afghanistan is expected to conclude with the United States a strategic security cooperation pact, which has fuelled concerns among regional countries, including Iran, Pakistan, Russia and China.
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