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    Islamic centre being established in Kabul

    KABUL (PAN): Construction work on a building for a proposed Islamic centre, a Saudi Arabia funded project, would be launched in the capital Kabul after three months, an official said on Sunday.

    The centre to be named as King Fahd Mosque and Islamic Centre would take three years to complete on the cost of $45 million, deputy Hajj and Islamic Affairs minister said.

    Dai-ul-Haq Abid told Pajhwok Afghan News the centre was being built over 32 acres of land on the Maranjan hill with financial support from Saudi government.

    He said the centre would have a university with the capacity of enrolling 15,000 students and a mosque having the capacity of accommodating 5,000 worshipers and an Islamic research centre.

    The university would be affiliated with the University of Madina. The centre would also have a clinic and a hostel, the deputy minister said.

    He said the centre would be useful for capacity building of prayer leaders and religious scholars across the country.

    "The Islamic centre would have positive impact on the capacity development and teaching methods of prayer leaders in mosques.”

    A religious scholar, Maulvi Shams-ur-Rahman Frotan, said prayer leaders, Imams, and preachers would learn the rules of preaching and would be introduced with new technology at the centre.

    “After the establishment of the centre, there will be no need for our youths to travel to Pakistan for Islamic education," he said, alleging religious students in Pakistan were convinced into wearing suicide vests for attacks in Afghanistan.

    An agreement for the centre was signed between Afghanistan and Saudi Arabia two years ago. However, the agreement could not be implemented due to a lack of land for the centre in Kabul, the Ministry of Hajj and Islamic Affairs said.