Over 2,500 religious scholars said there was no legitimate reason for the war in Afghanistan and called for both parties to stop the struggle for power and the killing of more Afghans.
At a gathering in the Loya Jirga hall in Kabul on Sunday, the ulema from various provinces declared their support for the peace process and said that further violence would destroy the trust in the negotiations.
“Discuss your disputes on the negotiating table,” said one of the attendees at the gathering.
They called on the Taliban and the Afghan government to reach an agreement on the form of Islamic government and the withdrawal of foreign troops as soon as possible, and to move on to other issues.
Another scholar called the shedding of Muslim blood, against the religion and warned that the person will “go to hell.”
This meeting came a day after a deadly suicide explosion in a largely Shia neighbourhood of Kabul that killed at least 25 people and injured dozens.
‘Deep revulsion’ over Kabul attack
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) expressed “deep revulsion” at the attack. Many of the dead and wounded were children, said UNAMA, and called it “a callous and senseless war crime.”
UNAMA offered its condolences to the families of those involved and said that “violence must not be allowed to win.”
“At a time when Afghans should feel hopeful, the horrific rise in violence, particularly in the last few weeks, erodes this spirit. Those responsible for the violence need to know that neither the Afghans nor their regional and international partners will let hope fade,” said Deborah Lyons, head of UNAMA and the UN Special Representative for Afghanistan.
Shaharzad Akbar, chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said the Afghan people have been demanding an end to the violence and a ceasefire in all parts of the country but the Taliban refuse to heed their call.
“The broadest, most common, clearest demand of the people of Afghanistan, from every corner of the country, every language, ethnicity, religion, young and old, male and female, is an end to violence and a ceasefire. A demand that the religious scholars of the world also support it. The Taliban is standing against this demand. Whom do the Taliban fight for and whose will are they representing?”
The attacks across Afghanistan have increased over the past few weeks despite the start of historic peace talks between Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha.