No doubt such statements cannot justify the destructive role Pakistan is playing in Afghan conflict. Pakistan, especially the ISI-backed clerics such as Ashrafi, is the major culprit in the ongoing tragedy in Afghanistan. This is not a new issue; Pakistan has fueled war in Afghanistan using religious extremist groups since the Afghan Jihad against the Soviets.
The recent religious edict by Pakistani clerics is confined to Pakistan, and therefore cannot help improve things in Afghanistan. Pakistan again proved its duplicity. Afghan government had asked Pakistani military and intelligence leaders during their last visit to Kabul to encourage Pakistan’s clerics to issue a fatwa calling the war in Afghanistan “un-Islamic”, but they outlawed suicide attacks only in Pakistan. The move was not motivated by the sense that Pakistani clerics or intelligence circles now care, and have a regard for the lives of innocent people; it was rather a tactic to relieve Pakistan of international pressures.
The sarcastic nature of Ashrafi’s comments seriously questions the role of Afghan clerics to help contain and end the war. Besides, members of the Taliban leadership, who also consider themselves scholars, have also been sternly challenged. The majority of Taliban who view Pakistani clerics as their spiritual leaders should revisit their stance on Afghan war following Ashrafi’s statements. If Pakistani religious scholars can issue fatwas to protect their country’s political interests, why cannot Afghan clerics do so? It is right to say that a major part of the Afghan conflict has the nature of an intelligence war, yet there is no way to rule out the manipulation and misuse of the religious sentiments of Afghan people in the ongoing war in the country. It is the responsibility of the government to eliminate all factors that give people a pretext to join the insurgency.