Islamic Leaders Call for Broad-Based Afghan Government, Condemn India
Islamic leaders at their Doha summit called for Afghanistan's warring factions to cooperate with international efforts to set up a broad-based government in Kabul, in a final resolution released on Tuesday.
They also condemned India for its "flagrant violations of human rights" in Kashmir, a divided territory at the center of a half-century dispute with Pakistan, a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) which held the summit.
The summit which closed overnight "emphasized the impossibility of resolving the Afghan problem by military means and called on the Afghan parties to the conflict to stop hostilities."
The rivals were urged "to cooperate with the aim of setting up a representative, broad-based, multi-ethnic government."
The 56-member organization "emphasized the importance of cooperation and coordination between the OIC and the United Nations in creating propitious conditions for achieving national reconciliation between the Afghan parties."
It also called on "all states to stop immediately supplying all parties in the conflict with arms and ammunitions" and for a halt to the production and export of illegal drugs in Afghanistan.
Rival Afghan delegations attended the Islamic summit to campaign for Kabul's suspended membership in the OIC.
Qatar invited Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmad Mutawakel and a representative of the ousted Afghan regime of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani to attend the summit which opened Sunday.
The Taliban religious militia which hold most of Afghanistan urged the Muslim leaders to give them the country's OIC seat that has remained vacant since they drove the Rabbani government out of Kabul in 1996.
But the seat remained empty again in Doha and the OIC resolution on Afghanistan made no mention of the dispute.
"Qatar is only the host country and all the states have to agree, especially as there is a problem between the Taliban and their opponents," Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani told reporters.
UN chief Kofi Annan, an observer at the summit, appealed to Iran and Pakistan -- OIC members which back different warring sides -- "to work even more closely together towards the noble aim of achieving peace."
The Taliban administration is recognized only by Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, while most countries continue to maintain ties with Rabbani. The two sides agreed earlier this month to UN-sponsored peace talks.
The OIC has coordinated with the UN peace efforts.
On Kashmir, the OIC "condemned flagrant violations of human rights of Kashmir, and called on member states to take all necessary measures to convince India to put an immediate end to these violations."
It called for "the people of Kashmir to exercise their inalienable right to self-determination" -- DOHA (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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