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Religious scholars back peace drive

Religious scholars back peace drive

Mar 04, 2011 - 19:09

KABULinfo-icon(PANinfo-icon): Afghan religious scholars on Friday reiterated their support for the government's ongoing reconciliation campaign, the President Palace said.

Maulviinfo-icon Qayamuddin Kashaf, deputy head of the Afghanistaninfo-icon Ulemainfo-icon Council, backed peace talks with militants at a meeting with President Hamid Karzai.

The religious scholars, who actively participated in the jihadinfo-icon against the Soviet occupation forces, were ready to play their part in bringing stability to the country, he said.

According to a statement from Karzai's office, the council paid tribute to its former head, Fazal Hadi Shinwari, who passed away at a hospital in India last month. It praised Shinwari's role in the jihad and promoting peace.

It strongly denounced the recent killing of civilians, including womeninfo-icon and children, during operations by NATOinfo-icon-led forces and suicide attacks by the Talibaninfo-icon insurgents.

The scholars opposed long-term foreign military bases in the country and said such a move would be against Afghanistan's national interests. A day decision in this regard had to be taken by the Afghan nation, they stressed.

Welcoming the renewal of support from ulema, Karzai briefed his interlocutors on talks between Afghanistan and the United States on concluding a strategic partnership, the statement said.

The president said Afghanistan was rich in natural resources, which could be tapped only when lasting peace was restored. The exploitation of the resources would lead to people's prosperity, he said.


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