Religious leaders must play a role in promoting peace in Afghanistan, Islamic scholars and community elders urged at a UN-backed event in the central Afghan province of Daikundi.
More than 50 religious and community leaders gathered for the conference, organized by regional office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and Daikundi’s Provincial Peace Committee.
The event provided a forum for Islamic scholars and community leaders to discuss ways to continue support Afghanistan’s High Peace Council in encouraging illegal armed groups to join the peace process.
“Peace is the most important part of our culture, and religious believers – those who fight in the name of Islam – should reconsider their position,” said Mohammad Danish, Head of Daikundi’s Provincial Peace Council. “All of us have religious, social and human responsibilities to avoid violence.”
Since the High Peace Council established a Daikundi committee in early 2012, nearly 300 residents of the province have set aside their weapons to join the peace process as ex-combatants.
“The rather peaceful and secure environment in Daikundi is the outcome of tireless efforts of religious scholars,” said Hussain Ahamdi, a member of Daikundi’s Ulema Council, a group of influential religious leaders. “We need to maintain this, and to work hard for a more peaceful situation.”
At the end of the event, those in attendance issued a joint statement commending peace talks and asking religious leaders across the country to preach for peace. The statement emphasized that the peace process should involve all segments of society, including women and young people.