Afghan religious scholars urge Taliban to renounce violence

Religious scholars from across Afghanistan urged the Taliban to stop violence and join the peace process during a session in Kabul, the Pajhwok news agency reported on Wednesday.

Hundreds of clerics from restive Afghan provinces, including Khost, Paktia, Paktika, Ghazni, Logar, Maidan Wardak and Kabul, gathered to discuss the role of religious scholars in the establishment of peace and stability in war-torn Afghanistan, as well as in the reconciliation of insurgents.

“The ‘ulema’ [the community of Muslim scholars] should not allow anyone to create anarchy because it is their responsibility to work for the moral strength necessary to build a sound society,” the agency quoted Maulvi Abdul Hakim Munib, one of the participants, as saying.

Minister of Hajj and Religious Affairs Mohammad Yousuf Niazi said that religious scholars are capable of finding a common solution to the ongoing conflict in the country that has lasted over 30 years.

The clerics gathered in the wake of the Taliban terrorist attack on the heavily-guarded landmark InterContinental hotel in Kabul on Wednesday that left at least eight hotel employees and two policemen dead.

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