September 18, 2014

Pakistan clerics boycott peace conference on Afghanistan

By Sayed Jawad - Tue Feb 19 2013, 8:19 pm

Pakistan religious clerics boycott Afghanistan peace conferenceAccording to reports Pakistani religious clerics have denied to participate in an Islamic conference in capital Kabul which will be organized with an aim to to denounce violence and end Afghanistan war.

The Pakistani religious clerics said the conference will be organized with an aim to target Taliban ideology and there will be no agenda for peace.

The religious clerics boycotted the the summit which is due to be organized during the month of March and aggressively said they will not paricipate in the conference due to anti-Taliban propaganda by a number of Afghan officials.

Leader of the Pakistan religious clerics Mufti Abu Huraira following a letter to his Afghan counterpart informed of boycotting the conference, The Associated Press reported.

In the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, Mohiuddin accused some Afghan clerics of using “unsavory language” against the Taliban and said the conference was shaping up to be a one-sided attack on the Taliban rather than a conference to press for peace.

The ambitious initiative called for 500 clerics from Afghanistan and Pakistan to gather in Kabul in March to present a united front opposing violence, denouncing suicide bombings and urging all sides in the protracted conflict to pursue peace.

At the time, the plan was touted as a sign of improving relations between Kabul and Islamabad. But the latest dispute highlights the difficulty of getting the squabbling neighbors to sit together.

Still, Pakistan is seen as key to any peace agreement with Taliban insurgents ahead of the 2014 withdrawal of NATO and U.S. troops from Afghanistan, and it’s believed that Islamabad is the best hope of getting the Taliban to enter into serious negotiations.

Yet the Taliban have participated in at least two international conferences and U.S. and European officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the fragility of the talks, say the Taliban are in touch with representatives of 30 to 40 countries.

The proliferation of interlocutors has angered Afghan President Hamid Karzai who wants all peace negotiations channeled through his government even though the Taliban are steadfastly refusing to talk to his government.

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