Afghan Scholars for allowing Afghan Taliban to open office in Afghanistan

The Political Office will help in reaching peace talks with Taliban

Afghan Scholars for allowing Afghan Taliban to open office in Afghanistan

KABUL - A number of religious scholars on Wednesday suggested President Ashraf Ghani should consider allowing the Taliban to open a political office in Kabul. They said that the opening of a political office for the Taliban in Kabul will create an address for the group and it will also help to strengthen chances of engaging in peace talks with the group inside the country.

Meanwhile Ghani has said government will enter discussions with the Taliban through an inter-Afghan dialogue, but regarding peace talks with Pakistan, the government will talk with Islamabad from the position of a state and it will be state to state talks. “The suggestions you presented, we accept all of it, but I hope that the Taliban also endorses your demands to prove who has the commitment and the intention for peace,” said Ghani.

This comes after the High Peace Council (HPC) on Monday opened a two-day conference of religious scholars in Kabul in an effort to pave solid grounds for peace with the resurgent group. Addressing the conference, chairman of the High Peace Council, Mohammad Karim Khalili, called on religious scholars to contribute to peace and security in Afghanistan . Participants at the conference exchanged views on mechanisms of peace talks with the Taliban including efforts to promote inter-Afghan dialogue.

The HPC invited more than 700 religious scholars from across the country. “Peace is the only solution to the ongoing uncertainties in the country. We have taken steps to launch formal talks with the Taliban,” Khalili said. The conference wrapped up Wednesday in Kabul and the participants shared their suggestions with government. They also called on Taliban to denounce violence.

“We need to support and strengthen the peace process and raise the voice of our people for peace everywhere,” said Khalili. This comes at a time that government is currently preparing to convene the Kabul Process peace meeting in Kabul with the participation of delegations from at least 20 countries and international organizations. The government is set to announce its strategy of peace with the Taliban at the summit. “I want to make peace with Pakistan not the Taliban, if the Taliban call themselves Afghans and respect the honorable Ulema, so they should come and sit with us at the inter-Afghan dialogue so that we can reach a peace deal with Pakistan like state to state,” added Ghani.