JEDDAH: A delegation of Islamic scholars met on Thursday with representatives of UN agencies operating in Afghanistan in the capital, Kabul, following meetings with Afghan ministers and officials, the state-run SPA news agency reported on Friday.
Secretary-General of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy Dr. Qutb Mustafa Sanu has welcomed the international relief organizations working in Afghanistan, commending their assistance to the Afghan people and stressing the need for coordinated efforts related to vital issues, including women’s education and rights and the participation of minorities.
He presented a briefing about the delegation and the purpose of their visit to Afghanistan, stressing the importance of intensifying efforts and cooperation in empowering Afghan women and girls to be able to return to school and universities.
He also stressed the need to ensure the participation of Afghan women in the efforts of construction and renaissance, calling on the participants in the meeting to inform the delegation of their views on the recent developments and changes in Afghanistan and to present proposals that they deem appropriate for the Afghan people.
Japanese Ambassador to Afghanistan Takashi Okada welcomed the delegation and thanked them for the visit, expressing his confidence in the delegation’s ability to persuade the ruling authority to resolve their issues with wisdom and competence.
UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Daniel Endres affirmed the keenness of all UN agencies to coordinate efforts and integrate steps in order to provide the support, aid and assistance that nearly 20 million Afghans need daily from food and medicine, pointing to the scarcity of resources and capabilities with the emergence of new humanitarian crises in Ukraine and other countries experiencing unrest.
He also expressed his confidence in the delegation’s ability to persuade the ruling authority to address the outstanding issues referred to by the Japanese ambassador as soon as possible, stressing that there has been a remarkable improvement at the security level, as the situation has become somewhat stable, and there is a clear openness to the education of girls and boys among most state officials residing in Kabul.
Endres said there is a small group in the seat of government in Kandahar that is hindering the achievement of this openness for considerations that were initially religious, but after the delegation’s visit, the authority began to talk about logistical and customary considerations.
He also confirmed that there has been a development in the field of women’s work, as the ruling authority agreed for them to work in the fields of health, agriculture, commerce, and education, and with the exception of these fields, women are still prevented from working in them for the same logistical and customary considerations.
Meanwhile, the delegation also held a separate meeting with a number of ambassadors and representatives of the member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation accredited to Afghanistan on Thursday, the OIC said in a statement on Friday.
The delegation’s visit comes within the framework of the follow-up of the OIC General Secretariat to the resolutions of the Executive Committee and the Council of Foreign Ministers, which called on the Secretary-General of the OIC to dispatch a delegation of ulemas and religious scholars led by the International Islamic Fiqh Academy and other relevant religious institutions in the Muslim world to engage with Afghanistan on issues of utmost importance, such as tolerance and moderation in Islam, girls’ education and women’s work.
The delegation consists of senior scholars from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE, Chad, Guinea, Malaysia, Jordan, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Turkiye.