Afghan Taliban supporting peace dialogue: Indonesian paper

Afghan Taliban supporting peace dialogue: Indonesian paper

Muslim clerics from Indonesia, Pakistan and Afghanistan have called upon all sides to "join direct peace talks" in efforts to promote dialogue to settle conflicts in the war torn Afghanistan.

The call came in a joint declaration of Muslim clerics from the three countries, who gathered at the Bogor Palace in Afghanistan last Friday and discussed their roles in helping to establish peace and stability in Afghanistan.

"Even though clerics from the Taliban did not "officially" attend the trilateral Ulema Conference in Bogor on Friday as hoped," according to report of Indonesian newspaper Jakarta Times, that also quoted Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla as saying that the militant group had indicated support for the peace dialogue .

Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Foreign Affairs Chairman Muhyidin Junaidi earlier said the trilateral meeting was first slated from March 15, but was postponed because the Taliban would have been underrepresented. The Ulema with the Taliban, he said had often issued controversial fatwa allowing attacks against the legitimate government, the report said.

"So we want to invite them for discussion and find the problems, because in Islam we are not supposed to kill others, especially fellow religious people," the newspaper quoted Muhyidin Junaidi as saying.

However the Taliban issued a statement in March calling for a boycott of the conference and described the peace efforts as "deceptive " from an illegitimate" Afghan government.

The whole day conference produced a joint statement called the Bogar Ulema declaration for peace, which in particular raised a call for all sides to "join direct peace talks" in efforts to promote dialogue to settle conflicts.

In addition, the report said, Indonesia vowed to continue efforts with Pakistan to push for an inclusive peace building process in which Ulema played an important role in calling for Muslims to uphold peaceful values.

According to the newspaper the trilateral dialogue was attended by about 45 participants from the three countries, which included about 20 Ulema from Afganistan and 15 from Pakistan. APP