“Differences disrupt Pakistan-Afghan clerics” meet
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A meeting of Pakistani and Afghan clerics, which was convened to finalise the date and agenda of an upcoming conference scheduled for next month in Kabul, was disrupted after a key participant walked away in a huff.
Allama Tahir Ashrafi, the chairman of Pakistan Ulema Council, threatened to boycott the upcoming conference of Pakistani and Afghan religious scholars if the Afghan side did not honour the decisions of their meeting, reports The Express Tribune. Appearing at a news conference with Afghan clerics after the meeting, Mufti Abu Hurriara Muhiuddin announced that the two sides agreed to hold the conference on March 10 in Kabul. However, Allama Ashrafi strongly differed.
He said there was no decision about the conference date and it was decided that a date would be finalised at another meeting of clerics from both countries in Kabul on February 21. According to Allama Ashrafi, the meeting decided that the conference would not issue fatwas against anyone. However, the joint statement did not mention the word fatwa. Allama Ashrafi also said that the meeting also decided to invite the Afghan Taliban to the conference - but that was also omitted from the joint statement.
The Karzai government has pinned high hopes on the proposed conference, as it wants religious backing for a nascent peace process in his country, or at least a joint stance against suicide bombings. Afghan sources said the Afghan side has requested for meetings with JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Jamaat-e-Islami chief Syed Munawar Hasan and JUI-S head Maulana Samiul Haq.
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