Afghan and Pakistani Islamic Scholars Will Come to Indonesia for Peace Conference

Vice President Jusuf Kalla and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani participate in the Kabul Process conference on Feb. 28. (Reuters Photo/Omar Sobhani)

By : Jakarta Globe | on 7:13 PM March 06, 2018
Category : News, Religion, Foreign Affairs

Jakarta. Islamic scholars from Pakistan and Afghanistan will come to Bogor, West Java, later this month for a conference organized by the Indonesian government to find solutions to the decades-long conflict in Afghanistan.

"We hope the conference will result in a mutual agreement, or a fatwa, to bring peace in Afghanistan," Vice President Jusuf Kalla said on Tuesday (06/03), as quoted by Suara Pembaruan.

Kalla, accompanied by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, held a meeting with members of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) to discuss preparations for the event, which is scheduled for March 15-19.

Last week, Kalla and Retno visited Kabul, where the vice president attended the second Kabul Process conference as guest of honor and reaffirmed Indonesia's commitment to assist Afghanistan in peacebuilding efforts.

Kalla said that the situation in Afghanistan is becoming more conducive, as the Taliban have reportedly laid down their weapons and showed willingness to participate in the process of democratization.

The role of Islamic scholars, or ulema, according to the vice president, can be crucial in forging a path for sustainable peace in the war-torn country.

According to Muhyiddin Junaidi, head of MUI's department of international relations, Indonesia was chosen to act as a peace mediator, because Afghanistan perceives it as a neutral actor, state news agency Antara reported.

"There will be 45 ulema, 15 from each country," Muhyiddin said.

He told reporters that dates may change, as organizers consider the possibility of including ulema representing the Taliban, who are not on the guestlist yet.

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