Debate with our Ulema: Pres. Ghani dares Taliban

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KABUL: While calling on the Taliban to talk to Afghan clerics, President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday reaffirmed that Afghanistan had a Muslim nation and an Islamic system.


President Ghani made the remarks at the occasion of Milad-un-Nabi gathering, observance of the birthday of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.


Referring to the Taliban’s position that says the US-Taliban peace agreement should form the basis for a political settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban, Ghani said:


“Those who claim to have been standing up for religion for the past 20 years are now saying, ‘they prefer the US-Taliban deal over the commandments and teachings of the Holy Quran.’”


He challenged the Taliban to come to the fore and discuss these matters with Afghan scholars and Ulema.


President Ghani also said that Afghans and Afghanistan cannot be divided, adding “The Taliban should hear the voice of this child.”


He was referring to two children who have been maimed in the ongoing war and who called for peace in their speech earlier in the gathering.


The intra-Afghan talks opened in Doha on September 12th but the two sides have yet to agree on a course of action. Of the obstacles, one is that the Taliban want the talks to be held as per the principles of the Doha agreement.


But the Afghan delegation had previously insisted that the talks should be based on a joint statement released by the United States and the Afghan government at the same time as the US-Taliban deal.