Religious scholars from 3 nations meet in Jakarta, urge Taliban to seek peace

Salaam Times

JAKARTA -- Religious scholars from Afghanistan, Indonesia and Pakistan Friday (May 11) conferred in Jakarta, Indonesia, and called on the Taliban to take up President Ashraf Ghani's offer of peace talks, according to a joint statement issued by participating parties.

Ghani announced in February a peace plan that could see the Taliban become a political party. However, the Taliban declared a spring offensive April 25, apparently rejecting the plan.

"We the ulema, therefore appreciate and support the offer of the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as announced by President Ashraf Ghani during the Kabul Peace Process... for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan," said the statement.

Pakistani religious scholars attended the meeting in defiance of a Taliban demand in March that Pakistan not send a delegation.

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