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No one can monopolize peace process: Kabul clerics

No one can monopolize peace process: Kabul clerics

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Mar 02, 2020 - 18:21

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Afghanistaninfo-icon Tansiq Ulemainfo-icon Council, a clerics’ council in capital Kabul, on Monday welcomed recent developments in the peace process, saying peace “is a national process and no one has the right to monopolize it.”

This come a day after President Ashraf Ghani rejected releasing 5,000 Talibaninfo-icon prisoners as part of the US-Taliban deal. The president emphasized on protection of republic system of the government on Sunday.

The historic agreement between the Taliban and the US was signed on February 29 after around one and half years of negotiations in a bid to end the conflict.

Under the agreement, the Afghan government would release 5,000 Taliban prisoners in exchange for up to 1,000 government detainees by 10 March and the rest of other prisoners would be released in three months afterwards.

Enayatullah Baligh, head of Afghanistan Tansiq Ulema Council, told a gathering in Kabul that peace was “God’s gift” and they supported steps taken about the peace process and ending the conflict in the country.

“Islam invites people to peace and supports peace, our council also supports this opportunity and we will assist if there is need,” he said.

About the lack of government’s commitment to releasing Taliban prisoners, he said any side which opposed the release of prisoners would face resistance from Ulema.

Abdul Salam Abid, another cleric and member of the council, also asked the government leaders to push forward the peace process.

Addressing the president, he said, “Indifference (to the peace process) is a national treason and we will not let anyone do so.”

Another cleric, Ayaz Niazi also asked leaders of the government and politicians to get utmost advantage from the opportunity in the peace process.

He stressed a qualified and strong negotiating team should be constituted for intra-Afghan talks and that political consensus should be created for achieving peace and ending war in Afghanistan.

Sheikh Abdul Saboor Abbasi, another cleric, said most of prisoners were innocent and they should be released for trust building between the two sides.

“The government should not create problems and avoid additional conditions,” he said.

The Ulema also asked the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to raise its voice against ‘oppressions’ on Indian Muslims.

The government should shut the Embassy of India in Kabul in protest against recent atrocities against Indian Muslims, they said in a resolution letter.

According to another report, hundreds of people in Kunduz province also in a gathering supported recent developments in the peace process and emphasized on ending the war, reduction of violence and nationwide peace in the country.

Haji Sherin Agha, an influential figure, told in the gathering, “We are around 2,000 people who have gathered here to voice their support for the ongoing peace process. We want the central government to be serious in pushing the peace process forward.”

A number of other participants of the gathering asked the Taliban to negotiate with the government without any condition and put the decades old war in the country to an end.

Mds/ma

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