Ulema back Loya Jirga on security pact
At a meeting with President Hamid Karzai, Ulema Council members said Islam attaches special significance to consultative forums on contemporary issues.
In a statement from the Presidential Palace, the scholars hoped the tribal assembly's outcome would be in the supreme interest of the Afghan nation and Islam.
Ulema Council head Maulvi Shahzada Shahid read out a statement in support of the Loya Jirga, which would take place next month. Participants will debate the BSA text and float their proposals regarding the pact.
The council denounced the killing of Logar Governor Arsala Jamal in a bomb attack at the main mosque in Pul-i-Alam, the capital of the central province, on October 15.
Initially, local officials said the bomb had been concealed in a microphone but the Afghan spy service the National Directorate of Security later claimed the explosives had been placed in a copy of the holy Quran.
The statement quoted the scholars as calling the attack the handiwork of Islam's enemies and desecration of the holy Quran. Assaults on mosques, funerals and public places were un-Islamic and inhuman acts, they said.
They urged the insurgents to enter negotiations with the High Peace Council and renounce violence for the sake of peace and stability in the country.
They also asked the people to vote in next year's presidential election for a leader who is a devout Muslim and imbued with a strong sense of patriotism.
A candidate committed to the nation's prosperity, principles of justice, support to the downtrodden and having political acumen should be catapulted into power, they opined.
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