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Declaration of The National Consultative Ulema Conference on Peace

25-26 December 2017

In the Name of Allah the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

There is no doubt that current war and violence is imposed on the people of Afghanistan and continuation of this longstanding violence will eventually lead to the destruction of physical and non-physical foundations of the country.

In order to further discuss and understand the above fact, the High Peace Council organized a gathering of 700 Ulema, religious scholars, clerics and prominent religious figures from all over the country to participate in a two-day gathering titled “National Consultative Ulema Conference on Peace” on 25-26 December 2017 in Kabul. All the participants discussed the disadvantages of the current war and indicated that the only victims of the ongoing violence are the Muslim and long-suffering people of Afghanistan, and that the enemies of the country are taking advantages of its continuation.  After comprehensive discussions, the participating Ulema unanimously issued following declaration:

We, the Ulema praise and appreciate the recent position of the president and leadership of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan about the first Qibala of Muslims (Jerusalem). We believe that it was a decision on the basis of the religious and national aspirations of the Afghan nation and a true representation of the desire of the Islamic world.

As Peace is a divine order, a religious obligation and national basic need, we therefore call upon parties involved in the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan to work for tolerance and forbearance, and make their utmost efforts for creating an atmosphere of trust leading to a just and lasting peace.
We acknowledge that war and Conflict provides a nurturing ground for foreign intelligence games, international terrorist groups and drug–trafficking mafia. But through peace, we could put an end to all the atrocities and presence of foreigners.
Recommendations to the Government of Afghanistan:
1.    Considering the recommendations of this consultative conference, the government of Afghanistan as a true representative of the people should be more tolerant and patient towards Taliban.

2.     For creating and atmosphere of trust, the government should avoid using harsh words and labeling Taliban, and at the same time should not focus on policies that escalate and intensify conflict and eliminate opportunities for peace.

3.    For educating people, changing public perception and building a national consensus, we ask the government and the HPC to continue their consultations with all the people including politicians, tribal elders, women, youth and people with specific expertise.

4.    The government should strengthen its fight against moral and administrative corruption and we, the Ulema support the government in this regard.

5.    Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) who make numerous sacrifices for protecting our national sovereignty, territorial integrity, our faith and religious values as well as our national interests are the true protectors of our nation. They should maintain their impartiality and professionalism and remain apolitical. We want an army and a police force that really protect our people without any tribal, ethnic, lingual and partisan discrimination and favoritisms.

6.    Justice and judicial institutions should undergo a comprehensive reform process and must be completely reliable, clean and impartial, and as Ulema of the country, we strongly support the government's reform agenda.  

7.    While acknowledging the freedom of expression, we strongly urge manipulative media outlets to be controlled and no any programs that are in conflict with our religious, cultural and national values should be allowed to air and broadcast.  

8.    The Government should address all those concerns that Ulema have about Mosques, Madrassahs, places of worship and other religious centers and at the same time, harassment and persecution of Ulema should stop. A joint committee/council should be established to address issues related to mosques, madrassas and other religious centers.

9.    Government authorities and officials in some areas persecute and harass Ulema and ordinary people by resorting to arbitrary actions. These types of actions should be seriously refrained from and the government should take measures for trust building.  

10.    The government should address the causes of the intensification of conflict and violence such as narcotics trafficking, illegal mining and smuggling alcoholic beverages by taking serious actions.
Recommendations to the Taliban:
11.    The Taliban should positively respond to and respect the aspiration of the people for a peaceful country through engaging in negotiations with the government and should put forward their demands on the negotiation table.

12.    The Taliban should avoid fighting, planting IEDs and blowing up suicide bombs in the public places; they should stop killing innocent people and destroying public properties.  They should protect all those national projects that the survival and prosperity of our nation is dependent on.

13.    Taliban should remove all those elements from their ranks and files that have ties with international terrorism and have no any respect for Islamic and Afghan values.

14.    Respecting the recommendation of this conference, Taliban should introduce a group of pious Ulema for negotiations who have a vision for peace and future of the country.  

15.    Looking to the peace agreement with Hezb-i-Isami, Taliban should also renounce violence and should not provide ground for the continuation of the presence of international forces. It is obvious that continuation of violence could lead to the negative interference of the regional countries.

Recommendation to Politicians, Ulema, CSOs, Tribal elders and Women
16.    Every Afghan is equally responsible to fight against extremism and make their utmost efforts for bringing about a just and dignified peace.

17.      Everyone should prefer national interests over personal, ethnic, partisan, tribal and ethnic interests and should work for a unified Afghanistan.

18.    All the people should work together with the government and Ulema to tackle the issue of moral and administrative corruption.
Recommendation to the International Community and Regional Countries
19.    For enduring peace and stability, the international community should continue supporting and equipping the ANDSF.

20.    We call upon all the friendly countries to make honest and sincere efforts in resolving the Afghan conflict.

21.    The international community should support intera-Afghan negotiations and should respect the will of the Afghan people for restoring peace and stability in the country.

22.    From the Islamic and traditional point of view, Afghans give priority to good relations with neighbors. At the same time, we call upon our neighboring countries to reciprocate by stopping interference in our domestic affairs and assist us in supporting intera-Afghan talks.

23.    We ask the Ulema in our neighboring countries to play a positive role in the Afghan Peace process and refrain from making inflammatory statements that cause intensification of war and division among Muslims.

24.    We call upon the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to perform its Islamic duty as far as peace in Afghanistan is concerned and support the Afghan people in this regard.     
Recommendation to the High Peace Council
25.    While appreciating the initiative of convening this auspicious conference, we ask the High peace Council to continue and expansion its consultation throughout the country so that eventually all Afghans witness the realization of their hopes for peace in the country.

26.    The HPC should organize and convene and international Ulema conference for peace.

27.    The HPC should remain and independent and apolitical entity so that it could become a trustworthy mediator.