Indonesia Religious Moot: No Fatwa over Afghan Taliban struggle against foreign invasion

Indonesia Religious Moot: No Fatwa over Afghan Taliban struggle against foreign invasion

ISLAMABAD: There would be no Fatwa against Afghan Taliban struggle against foreign invasion in Afghanistan.

The visit of representatives of Afghan Taliban to Indonesia has forced the government to change the agenda of a trilateral conference of religious scholars to be held on May 11 (Friday) in Jakarta, two Taliban leaders confirmed to Daily Times on Thursday.

Indonesia had invited Taliban representatives in March after they urged scholars from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia to boycott the conference, rejecting it as an “intelligence ploy” by foreign invaders “as they have faced defeat on the battlefield.”

The Taliban’s strong opposition led to the postponement of the meeting in March and later the organisers also changed the agenda and assured the Taliban that no “fatwa” or religious edit will be issued about Afghanistan and only a joint statement will be released at the conclusion, a Taliban leader, privy to the visit and the understanding between the Taliban and Indonesian organisers, said.

“I can confirm that the Taliban visited Jakarta for talks. The visit was aimed at ensuring that no ‘fatwa’ is issued, and no speech is delivered against the jihad,” the Taliban source said.

Meanwhile, a 15-member delegation of Pakistani scholars has arrived in Jakarta to join their Afghan and Indonesian counterparts to explore ways for Afghan peace and reconciliation, a Pakistani delegate told Daily Times in a phone call on Thursday.

The participant, requesting not to be identified, complained that the organisers had not shared the agenda and the proposed joint statement with the Pakistani delegates until Thursday evening despite requests by delegates.

The Indonesian authorities had changed Afghan-specific theme of the conference to “Muslim Ummah — Peace and Harmony,” even removing Afghanistan’s mention in the title.

The Afghan government has long been lobbying for a “fatwa” on the war in Afghanistan; but has not yet succeeded as Pakistani scholars want Afghan clerics to call for the withdrawal of the US-led forces that they believe are the main cause of war in Afghanistan. Kabul was also annoyed at a Pakistani “fatwa” as Afghan leaders said it was only limited to Pakistan.

Indonesian ambassador to Pakistan Iwan Suyudhie Amri said that the conference is aimed at promoting peace in Afghanistan.

“We know it is a complex issue. For Indonesia, we just would like to see peace so as to embark on development both in Pakistan and Afghanistan,” ambassador Amri told Daily Times in a text message.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid declined to comment on the conference, saying that the militia had already explained its position in a statement released in March.