Afghan religious scholars call for ceasefire amid escalation in fighting

Source: Xinhua| 2020-10-11 20:20:06|Editor: huaxia

KUNDUZ, Afghanistan, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Amid increase in Afghan fighting, the Ulema or religious scholars in a gathering held in Kunduz city the capital of northern Kunduz province on Sunday have condemned the ongoing conflict and hostilities in the country as illegitimate and called upon the Taliban outfit to observe ceasefire and facilitate the peace talks to succeed.

"The people of Afghanistan have fed up with war, the prolonged war that has destroyed our country and has devoured the people's life and properties," head of the Religious Council of the troubled Kunduz province Mawlawi Mohammad Aqel Sirat said in his speech at the gathering attended by hundreds of people in Kunduz city.

In his speech, the Mawlawi expressed support to the ongoing intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha and urged the Taliban group to respect the will of Afghans and halt the violence.

"I am calling upon the Taliban to first stop violence, observe ceasefire and then project its demands at the peace talks with government," Aqel told the audience.

The religious scholar called for the ceasefire amid ongoing but difficult intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha and increasing insurgency in Afghanistan.

A 21-member Afghan government negotiating team has been engaged with the Taliban representatives in Doha since Sept. 12 to find political solution to Afghanistan's prolonged conflict but no tangible progress has been reported.

More than 50 fighters including 10 security personnel, and three civilians, according to security officials have been killed over the past 24 hours in the insurgency-battered country.

Endorsing government demand for ceasefire, the prayer leaders in their sermon on Friday congregation here in Kabul also denounced the continued war and called upon the Taliban group to halt fighting or at least reduce violence.

The Taliban outfit which has welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump's tweet to take his troops back home by Christmas has reportedly rejected the offer for ceasefire before reaching agreement on the future system of Afghanistan. Enditem