Afghan council seeks Pakistani cleric's help to end war

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A prominent Pakistani cleric says an Afghan delegation has asked him to mediate between the Kabul government and the Taliban to help resolve the 17-year-long war in Afghanistan.

Maulana Samiul Haq runs a religious school, the Haqqania seminary in the town of Akora Khattak in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan. Many Taliban figures studied there.

Haq's seminary says he met with the Afghan representatives on Monday night.

Haq told the Afghan representatives he also wishes to see an "end to jihad, end to bloodshed and freedom of Afghanistan with supremacy of Islam."

He suggested a secret meeting between Afghan religious leaders and the Taliban, "without U.S. and Pakistani interference."

The Afghan delegation included former governor of Nangarhar province, Ataullah Lodin, government peace committee member Qasim Haleemi and others.

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