Religious leaders call for peace to be institutionalized in Afghanistan’s northeast

18 May 2017

Religious leaders call for peace to be institutionalized in Afghanistan’s northeast

KUNDUZ - Addressing residents of Baghlan and Takhar in televised roundtable debates, religious scholars emphasized the critical importance of institutionalizing the principles of peace at all levels of society, from the social to the political.

“Islam emphasizes peace as a fundamental principle and value,” said scholar scholar Mawlawi Mohammad Rasool Namani, speaking in one of the debates. “One of the responsibilities of religious leaders is to work for peace and encourage people to live in a peaceful environment.”

In the two debates, the panelists not only underscored the importance of peace in achieving sustainable development and overcoming social challenges, but also highlighted the achievements related to those turning from insurgency and joining society through the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Programme.

The events, part of a series of televised debates in the northeast region of Afghanistan, were organized by the Kunduz regional office of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) to support peace efforts in Kunduz, Takhar, Baghlan and Badakhshan.

Afghanistan’s religious scholars, known as Ulema, play an important role in setting moral and ethical standards for their communities. They work as peace brokers and are respected leaders at all levels of society, exerting influence on community decisions. 

The Baghlan and Takhar debates were broadcast by local television and radio stations, reaching an estimated 500,000 residents in the two provinces.  

UNAMA is mandated to support the Afghan Government and the people of Afghanistan as a political mission that provides 'good offices' among other key services. 'Good offices' are diplomatic steps UN takes publicly and in private, drawing on its independence, impartiality and integrity, to prevent international disputes from arising, escalating or spreading.

UNAMA also promotes coherent development support by the international community; assists the process of peace and reconciliation; monitors and promotes human rights and the protection of civilians in armed conflict; promotes good governance; and encourages regional cooperation.