Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister participates in panel discussion hosted by Institute of European Council on Foreign Relations

Afghan, Pakistani scholars sign ‘Declaration of Peace in Afghanistan’ in Makkah

MAKKAH: Senior Pakistani and Afghan scholars have signed the “Declaration of Peace in Afghanistan,” paving the way to resolve the crisis there by sponsoring negotiations between warring factions and rejecting all acts of violence and extremism.

The historic signing in Makkah was attended by Sheikh Dr. Noor Al-Haq Qadri, Pakistan’s minister of Islamic affairs and tolerance of religions, and Sheikh Mohammed Qasim Halimi, Afghanistan’s minister of Hajj, endowments and guidance.

Dr. Mohammed bin Abdulkarim Al-Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL) and president of the Association of Muslim Scholars, attended the signing at the end of the Islamic conference. This was held under the banner of the Muslim World League and the auspices of Saudi Arabia, gathering together for the first time senior scholars to achieve reconciliation among the Afghan people.

The declaration seeks a final and comprehensive solution to the Afghan conflict by supporting the reconciliation process between the warring parties in Afghanistan and reaching common ground by tackling political, social, economic and other related issues.

Al-Issa said that this should be achieved through joint action to stop the bloodshed in Afghanistan and by putting the Afghani people on the path of peace, reconciliation, stability and progress. This was in addition to rejecting linking violence with any religion, nationality or ethnicity, and violence resulting from extremism and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, including attacks against civilians and suicide attacks as contradictory to the principles of the Islamic faith.

During the inaugural session, Al-Issa said: “This blessed sponsorship and great support by Saudi Arabia’s government comes in line with the Kingdom’s extensive Islamic work, as part of its Islamic duties and responsibilities.”

Halimi said that the Qur’an considered reconciliation the ideal solution for many conflicts and disagreements.

“There were many initiatives and calls to rush to achieve reconciliation among the Muslim people of Afghanistan to get them out of the current ordeal,” he said.

He stressed that reconciliation among Islamic peoples was a religious, human, civilizational, economic, social, political and psychological necessity for any Muslim society.

Qadri said that establishing peace and tranquility, and strengthening tolerance in society, was part of the objectives of Islam.

He said: “Our religion calls for harmony and unity, and supports international cooperation and participation in all benevolent work. Islam calls for protecting the country and encourages development and prosperity, and orders boosting peace and avoiding riots.”

The Kingdom and Pakistan had always played an active role in seeking peace in Afghanistan, he said.

Ahmed Javed Mujadadi, Afghanistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, emphasized the importance of holding the conference in Makkah, in the presence of elite respectful scholars, saying that the Kingdom had never failed Afghanistan and was working to establish security and peace there.

He said that the Muslim World League was making all efforts to end conflict and discord, and that the conference reflected a message of brotherhood, love and peace.

Dr. Shafiq Samim, permanent representative of Afghanistan to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), confirmed that the Saudi leadership’s efforts were supportive in finding solutions to conflicts in the Muslim World.

He said that Afghanistan had suffered from war for the past four decades. He said that the conference was a serious attempt to search for ways to solve the Afghan crisis through constructive dialogue and efficient mediation.

The conference included five sessions, during which more than 20 senior scholars spoke about peace, tolerance, moderation and reconciliation in Islam.

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