Pakistan: Pakistan has quietly dropped efforts to obtain a fatwa against carrying out suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism in neighbouring Afghanistan, The National reported on Monday.
The National further reported:
Since being removed from power by US-led forces in 2001, the Taliban have waged an armed insurgency against Kabul and international troops, one underpinned by a strong religious ideology. The hardline teachings of the religious duty to carry out a violent struggle against an occupying force have motivated many to take up arms. Nearly 17 years after the invasion, as the US is looking to negotiate a long-term settlement with its stubborn opponent, many looking to degrade the powerful force see a religious decree from prominent Pakistani religious figures as necessary for talks to be successful.
In January last year, religious clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwa, or religious ruling, condemning acts of terrorism in the country as un-Islamic. The decree was endorsed by over 1,800 religious scholars from different schools of Islamic jurisprudence and was hailed as an important step towards curbing extremism and terrorism.
The fatwa was notable for the number of clerics who had signed in the past, been seen as supportive of the Afghan Taliban and were otherwise outspoken critics of liberalism and the West. Among them was Hamid-ul-Haq, the son of a cleric widely regarded as the father of the Afghan Taliban because of the number of high profile militants – including Taliban founder Mullah Mohammed Omar – who graduated from his seminary in Pakistan’s Peshawar.
Hoping to discredit the Taliban, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani criticised the ruling and said it should not have been limited to Pakistan.
“If they [Islamic principles] extend to all [of the world] of Islam, then it [the Pakistani fatwa] should first and foremost be implemented in relation to Afghanistan,” Mr Ghani said.