Saudi Arabia urges Taliban to stop war, recognize Kabul government
In an unprecedented move, Saudi Arabia has asked Afghan Taliban to stop fighting and recognise the government in Kabul as the Kingdom is set to host an international conference of Islamic scholars this week, which is likely to issue a decree against the war.
AVA- Saudi Arabia is holding the International Ulema Conference for peace, security and national reconciliation in Afghanistan in Jeddah and Makkah on July 10 and 11, respectively, in collaboration with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
This is the first time Saudi Arabia and the OIC have sprung into action in Afghan conflict with the clerics’ moot that has also invited angry Taliban reaction, who insist the United States has pressed Saudis to hold the event as Americans want through these conferences to “find justification for their military occupation, legitimise their stooge Kabul administration and thus weaken the resistance of Afghan Muslim nation being put up against them”.
The role of OIC in Afghan peace process had been zero since the US and its NATO allies invaded Afghanistan in late 2001.
Daily Times has seen the invitation letter sent to scholars in Pakistan and Afghanistan in which all armed groups in Afghanistan have been declared terrorists. The letter is signed by Yousef A Al-Othaimeen, OIC secretary-general and a former Saudi cabinet minister.
The invitation says that the main purpose of the conference is to reject the “erroneous interpretations of Islamic views by terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan”.
“From this platform, we call on all armed groups to shun terrorism, recognise the Afghan government, sit at the negotiation table and participate in political process,” contents of the letter said, adding the progress and development of Afghanistan are seriously impeded by the activities of violent and extremist groups, illegal armed groups and criminals.
It says that the OIC is committed to peace, security, stability and development of all member states, including Afghanistan. It said a number of OIC summits and Council of Foreign Ministers (CFMs) had mandated the OIC General Secretariat to organise the conference.
Taliban are seemed concerned at the issuance of a possible decree against their fighting to “undermine the legitimacy of their struggle from a religious perspective”.
An Afghan analyst Nazar Mutmaeen says Afghan war has religious, cultural and regional aspects and no edict can stop the war.
“Fatwa will have no value when foreign troops are stationed in Afghanistan. Saudi Arabia should do whatever is practical while keeping in view the religious, economic, regional, cultural aspects of the Afghan war,” Mutmaeen, who writes for the Afghan and foreign media, told media from Kabul on Sunday.
“Saudi Arabia will not remain an impartial player if it serves the interests of few countries or accepts demands of some countries,” he said, adding, Saudis must play an impartial role and maintain a balance approach in relations with the Afghan government and the Taliban.
Scholars from over 30 countries have been invited to attend conference that can be a major boost for beleaguered President Ghani, whose all offers for the dialogue have been rejected by the Taliban, who want direct talks with the US.