Saudi Arabia, OIC to meet in July on ‘illegality of Afghan war’

File Photo of OIC members.

Saudi Arabia and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) will hold a meeting of Islamic scholars in Jeddah in July to discuss the Afghan war, the High Peace Council (HPC) said Friday.

The council said the scholars will express their views on ‘illegality of Afghanistan war’.

Head of the High Peace Council’s secretariat, Akram Khpolwak, has discussed ways to end the Afghan war in a meeting with OIC members and Saudi Arabia officials this week, said Ehsanullah Tahiri, spokesman of the council.

“All scholars from the Muslim countries should attend the meeting and assess the Afghan war and bloodshed from religious point of view,” Taheri told Kabul based TOLO News.

A lawmaker said Islamic scholars can play a significant role in finding a solution to the crisis in Afghanistan.

“Muslim countries can have influence on the groups fighting against Afghanistan government,” said Qazi Abdul Rahim, an MP.

Qarib Sadat, member of High Peace Council, said they have tried a lot to the bring Taliban leadership to negotiation table, but some intelligence circles of the neighboring countries send weapons to the militants in Afghanistan and prevent them from joining the peace process.

“When we provide the context for peace, the countries which interfere in Afghanistan and their intelligence expand the conflict to draw the attention of government from concentrating on peace,” said Sadat.

The HPC spokesman said Khpolwak will leave Saudi Arabia for Indonesia where he will discuss the organizing of a meeting of Afghanistan, Indonesia and Pakistan religious scholars in Jakarta.

Earlier, in March, the Taliban had said in a statement that the group made it clear to the US in its recent letter that “war is not our choice, rather it has been imposed upon us. For ending the occupation, we want a peaceful resolution to the Afghan issue.”

ALSO READ: Taliban announces its readiness to talk with US to find a ‘peaceful solution’

The statement noted that “it must now be established by America and her allies that the Afghan issue cannot be solved militarily.

“America must henceforth focus on a peaceful strategy for Afghanistan instead of war. Military strategies which have repeatedly been tested in Afghanistan over the past seventeen years will only intensify and prolong the war. And this is not in the interest of anyone.”

In January, after a wave of bombings which rocked Afghanistan lately, US President Donald Trump had ruled out any form of talks with the Afghan Taliban.

ALSO READ: There is no talking with Taliban, we are going to ‘finish them’, says Trump

“Innocent people are being killed left and right” by the Taliban, he told the members of the UN Security Council at a White House lunch on Monday. “Bombing in the middle of children, in the middle of families — bombing, killing all over Afghanistan.”

“So there’s no talking to the Taliban,” he said. “We do not want to talk to the Taliban.”

“We’re going to finish what we have to finish,” he said while adding, “What nobody else has been able to finish, we’re going to be able to do it.”

In August, 2017, The Taliban called on President Donald Trump on Tuesday to review the strategy for the war in Afghanistan and to hold peaceful dialogue directly with Afghans instead of engaging “corrupt” politicians.

ALSO READ: Taliban call on Trump to leave Afghanistan

The Taliban, alternatively spelled Taleban, which refers to itself as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is a ‘Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement’ in Afghanistan currently waging war (an insurgency, or jihad) within that country.

Until his death in 2013, Mullah Mohammed Omar was the supreme commander and spiritual leader of the Taliban. Mullah Akhtar Mansour was elected as his replacement in 2015, and following Mansour’s killing in a May 2016 U.S. drone strike, Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada became the group’s leader.

The Taliban negotiated and ‘asked’ Trump to study the “historical mistakes” of his predecessors and to withdraw troops from Afghanistan completely.

ALSO READ: Pakistan, Afghanistan and China meet in Beijing, resolve to fight terrorism


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