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Report – Intra-Islamic Dialogue for Stable Afghanistan

  • 2023/05/30
  • 08:00 AM

The Necessity of Engagement with Afghan Taliban for Regional Stability

IRCRA organizes a consultative meeting on 27th May 2023 in Islamabad

Islamabad: “Afghan Taliban want to have a constructive engagement with the international community. If they were not interested in dialogue and engagement, they would not have signed the Doha Agreement in 2020 with the United States”. These views were expressed by Jalaluddin Advocate of Jamiat Ulama-e-Islam and shared by other participants of a consultative meeting on the possibility of ‘Intra-Islamic Dialogue for Stable Afghanistan’. The meeting was organized by the International Research Council for Religious Affairs (IRCRA) on 27th May 2023 in Islamabad. The consultative meeting brought together experts with an interest in Afghanistan and regional connectivity.

The objective of the meeting was to facilitate a constructive discussion among Islamic scholars and experts from various fields to develop a framework for promoting stability and peace in Afghanistan. President of IRCRA, Muhammad Israr Madani while welcoming the guests explained that the objective of this consultative meeting is to discuss about a successful model of engagement with Afghan Taliban and religious diplomacy that could help in developing a better understanding between different Afghan and regional stakeholders and the international community for regional stability and connectivity that would ultimately benefit the people living in the region.

Former Pakistani ambassador to Afghanistan Abrar Hussain stressed that engagement with the current Afghan regime run by Afghan Taliban should be a priority. He advised that any such engagement should start with an understanding of the needs of today’s Afghanistan and with some sort of economic cooperation, trade, and investment to address humanitarian crises. All the other sensitive issues like girls’ education and inclusive government can be addressed gradually as in principle the majority of Afghan leadership is in favor of equality and education for all.

Maulana Yousaf Shah who has been a spokesperson of Darul Uloom Haqqania Akora Khatak and an active negotiator between Taliban and other groups expressed that issues can only be resolved through negotiations and dialogue. Taliban are not against negotiations on a level playing field and are interested in economic and political stability in Afghanistan. They want good relations with the international community albeit as equals.

Others who spoke and shared their views included Maulana Tayyeb Tahiri (President Ishat-ul-Tauheed, Pakistan), Mufti Shaukat ullah Khatak (Darul Uloom Haqqania), Malik Habib Noor Orakzai (Ex-Fata Tribal Leader), Reema Shaukat (Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad), Asif Luqman Qazi, Head of Foreign Affairs Jamat Islami, Tahir Khan (Journalist), Dr. Mahan Mirza (Director of Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion, Notre Dame University, USA), Professor Laurie Nathan (Director, Kroc Institute’s mediation program), Muhammad Jan, Muhammad Ismail, and others. Rashad Bukhari, IRCRA’ Director of Communication and Development moderated the meeting.

The meeting was ended with a resolve by all participants to support any initiative that could help ensure stability and prosperity in Afghanistan and Pakistan and for the international and regional connectivity. They expressed optimism that the current challenges of terrorism, mistrust, poverty and underdevelopment in the region can be sorted out through constructive engagement with all stakeholders, Taliban included.