Afghan Taliban urged to renounce violence

Last Updated: Thu, Jun 30, 2011 05:30 hrs

Kabul, June 30 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Religious scholars from across Afghanistan have urged the Taliban to stop violence and join the peace process during a meeting to discuss their role in bringing stability to the war-torn country.

Hundreds of clerics from the 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 in 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 Pajhwok news agency Wednesday quoted Maulvi Abdul Hakim Munib, a participant, 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 Wednesday that left at least 21 people dead.

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