Afghanistan has dispatched a delegation to a prominent Pakistani cleric for help in bringing an end to the conflict still raging throughout the country. It is hoped the cleric will take up a position as mediator between the Kabul government and the Taliban, with the aim of ending the 17-year-long civil war.
Maulana Samiul Haq is known for running a religious school, the Haqqania seminary. This school is located in the town of Akora Khattak, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province. The area is on the border with Afghanistan. Many Taliban figures have studied at the cleric’s school
Haq's seminary issued a statement saying he met the Afghan representatives on October 1st. It is understood that Haq expressed support for ending the conflict, saying he also wished to see an "end to jihad, an end to bloodshed and freedom of Afghanistan with supremacy of Islam."
He suggested a secret meeting between Afghan religious leaders and the Taliban, "without US and Pakistani interference".
According to AP, the Afghan delegation included the former governor of Nangarhar province, Ataullah Lodin, and government peace committee member Qasim Haleemi.