ISLAMABAD: Afghan religious scholars have issued a fatwa, declaring peace negotiations in the presence of foreign forces is “against Islamic injunctions”.
“Americans want to force the valiant Afghan nation to surrender under the excuse of peace. We hope our Mujahideen will not be deceived through these tactics… and not hold peace talks until even a single invading soldier stays in Afghanistan,” the fatwa issued by Ittehad-e-Ulema-e-Afghanistan read. “We wish they would stand by their commitments.”
The edict comes at a time when diplomatic efforts by different stakeholders in Afghanistan have been intensified.
Senior Afghan, Chinese, Pakistani and the US diplomats are scheduled to meet in Islamabad on February 6 to hold further discussions on a road-map to ask the Taliban to join the peace process.
Taliban political negotiators, speaking at an unofficial meeting in Doha last week, had called for certain steps ahead of the talks that include recognition of their office in Qatar, lifting of sanctions on their leaders and release of their prisoners.
Maulana Mufti Mehmood Zakiri, chief of the council, which gave the ruling, read out the fatwa on phone after presiding a meeting of hundreds of clerics to discuss the issue of Afghan peace process.
Nato will keep about 12,000 troops in Afghanistan until 2016, alliance head Jens Stoltenberg had said last year.
“Islam instructs its followers that ‘Jihad’ is compulsory unless the invaders are expelled from an Islamic country. Peace is forbidden with the invaders and their supporters in such a situation,” the decree added.
“Any peace with the Americans in their presence in Afghanistan will not be a peace but will amount to surrender.”
It was pointed out in the fatwa that the “invaders are taking responsibility of the peace talks at a time when they are a party to the conflict and in fact their invasion caused the armed conflict.
“Such peace process has no Islamic validity in Islamic Sharia.”
It demanded that “the United States withdraw its forces, accept its defeat publicly, and pay compensation for killing Afghans and destroying their properties. Then an independent Afghanistan will maintain relations with the US.”