Hundreds of clerics throw weight behind Ghani
KABUL (Pajhwok): Hundreds of religious leaders coming from a number of provinces to Kabul on Monday said they would support presidential candidate Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in next month’s elections and urged him to implement Sharia law if he won.
Nearly 400 religious scholars attended the gathering in Kabul and announced their support to Ahmadzai, a former finance minister, who is among the 10 presidential candidates vying to succeed President Hamid Karzai.
Addressing the gathering, cleric Maulvi Sabza Gul Dewbandi, said they had decided to support Ahmadzai in the elections after going through a consultation process.
He urged Ahmadzai if he won the elections, he should implement Sharia law and give religious scholars slots in his Cabinet.
He believed peace could not be achieved in Afghanistan as long as the Islamic law was not enforced.
Another speaker, Mohammad Qasim Halimi, said religion and government were inseparable and clerics were the pillars of state.
“There should be ulema in government in order to enforce the Islamic principles of promoting virtue and preventing vice,” he said.
He also called on Ahmadzai to give religious scholars room in government and be in the service of religion and religious leaders as promised by him.
Ahmadzai, who addressed the gathering, said he extended deep condolences to the nation over the demise of Vice-President Marshal Mohammad Qasim Fahim.
He said instead of holding the gathering, they should have attended memorial services for Fahim and called for the meeting to be cut short.
Ahmadzai said it was an honour for him to be addressing religious scholars, calling them respectable individuals.
He promised he would consult religious leaders on government affairs and would bring the mosque and the Presidential Palace closer.
He also said he would establish big seminaries in the country and would hand over their affairs to responsible individuals. Ahmadzai would urge all prayer leaders across the country to raise their voice for peace if he becomes president.
Meanwhile, the Turkmen community announced their support to Ahmadzai in northern Jawzjan province.
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