Kabul, Feb 24 (IANS) The decision by Pakistani religious scholars not to attend a conference of Afghan and Pakistani Ulema here in March has all but scuttled the meeting, reports Xinhua.
The chief of Pakistani clerics, Mufti Abu Huraira, informed the Afghan Ulema council last week that it will boycott the conference, saying it was being used as an attempt to target the Taliban.
Another Pakistani religious leader, Tahir Ashrafi, has also announced he would not attend the conference because it might be used to issue a "fatwa" or religious decree against the Taliban.
The Afghan government has endeavoured to bring together leading religious scholars from both countries in Kabul to denounce violence and suicide bombings by militants against Afghan and NATO-led troops in Afghanistan.
Afghan observers say the reason why the Pakistani clerics have refused to directly hit the Taliban is that many of them were once tutors for the Taliban militants and would never issue a "fatwa" against them.
The Pakistani Ulema, according to an Afghan observer, have been supporting Taliban-led militancy in Afghanistan.
The Taliban had earlier called on the Pakistani Ulema not to attend the Kabul conference.