PESHAWAR, Oct 25: Attaching extra significance to former king Zahir Shah’s role to resolving the conflict, the conference of Afghan elders and leaders on Thursday called upon the Organization of Islamic Conference and the United Nations to cooperate with them in convening Loya Jirga to put an end to the crisis.

Organized by the Assembly for Peace and National Unity of Afghanistan (Apnua) at the Nishter Hall, the two-day conference concluded on Thursday after adopting eight unanimous resolutions.

Apnua convener Pir Syed Ahmad Gillani presided over the conference which was attended by some 1,500 Afghan notables, former Mujahideen commanders, tribal elders, various chieftains and religious leaders, representing various ethnic groups.

One of the resolutions pointed out that the US-led military strikes might cause the fall of the Taliban regime which, it warned, would create political vacuum. The country might slip into another spell of anarchy and bloodshed, if the vacuum was filled through a military operation. Therefore, “this conference proposes to accelerate political struggle to avoid further human catastrophe in the war-ravaged country.”

The conference called for convening the Loya Jirga at an appropriate time to restore lasting peace in Afghanistan, and urged the OIC and the UN to play their due role.

The participants, representing about 30 provinces, called upon Zahir Shah and other eminent Afghans to play their respective roles, and put forth moderate and balanced policies.

The conference condemned the Sept 11 attacks in America and warned the foreigners not to exploit the hospitality of the Afghans and leave the country.

Through another resolution, the conference asked the warring factions to stop fighting, and demanded of the US and allies to halt the military operation as early as possible to pave way for the political solution of the conflict. It eulogized the role of Pakistan and Iran for extending all out assistance to refugees.

In his speech, Qazi Mohammad Amin Waqad condemned the attitude of some of religious parties of Pakistan who had opposed the peace conference. He said the aims and objectives of the peace conference were not to oppose or support any particular group.

The conference, he said, was striving to restore peace and eliminate lawlessness and terrorism from Afghanistan. Pakistani religious parties, he said, should have attended the conference instead of taking out processions against it.

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