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Neighbours blamed for not backing Afghan peace drive

Neighbours blamed for not backing Afghan peace drive

Sep 30, 2012 - 18:35

KABUL (PAN): The High Peace Council (HPC) on Sunday accused neighbouring countries of refusing to support the Afghan government’s reconciliation drive, saying that scholars from the Muslim world would meet soon on ways of making the campaign a success.

Addressing a gathering in Kabul, HPC Deputy Chairman Attaullah Lodin characterised peace as Allah’s blessing, of which the Afghans had long been deprived. The gathering "No to War, Yes to Peace" was organised by the Afghanistan Academic and Islamic Research Centre (AAIRC).

In order to end the war, there was no option other than reconciliation, he said, acknowledging the conflict had ruined the country over the past three decades.

"There are some Islamic countries in our neighbourhood. Unfortunately, they aren’t cooperating wholeheartedly with efforts to stabilise Afghanistan; instead they have been fuelling the war to protect their petty interests," he alleged. 

One of the responsibilities of the council was to convince neighbours that stabilising Afghanistan would benefit the entire region and the world at large, he said, urging determined and honest steps toward peace.   

Lodin said the HPC would hold a meeting of Muslim scholars in Saudi Arabia or another Muslim country to solicit their views on whether or not the war in Afghanistan had any justification.

The participants will issue a declaration about the Islamic identity of Afghanistan. He urged the insurgents to avoid setting conditions for peace negotiations that could not be implemented.

While criticising foreign forces for insulting the religion and traditions of the Afghans, he said the presence of NATO-led troops had given the militants a pretext to continue the war.

Presidential advisor Niamatullah Shahrani acknowledged that peace efforts over the years had failed to yield the desired results.

AAIRC Director Attaur Rahman Salim asked the international community to mount pressure on the rebels and their supporters to renounce the insurgency. He said the government had been trying to lure the fighters to the reconciliation process.