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Home > News > Report

Indian clerics back action on Lal Masjid

July 12, 2007 17:25 IST

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The Lal Masjid Standoff

Pakistan government's decision to clear Lal Masjid in Islamabad of radicals on Thursday found support from Indian Muslim clerics who condemned the use of the mosque for militant activities, saying it had tarnished Islam's image worldwide.

The religious leaders, however, said negotiations could have been given a greater chance to resolve the stand-off to avoid bloodshed.

"Lal Masjid had become a centre of militant activities. The mosque's clerics were directly challenging the country's authority and they had to face what they faced," Jamiat-Ulema Hind spokesman Abdul Hammed Nomani said.

Echoing similar views, noted Shia cleric Kalbe Sadiq supported President Pervez Musharraf's [Images] move while underlining that extremism is not allowed in Islam.

"The action had to be taken against militants. The Al Qaeda [Images] and Taliban who link violence with Islam are misguided people," he said.

Nomani, however, said negotiations would have been the best way to avoid the armed clashes, which resulted in the death of 91 people, including 73 militants and 10 security personnel.

"Human lives could have been saved had the government opted for talks. The military could have continued to surround the mosque for a longer period, which would have had compelled the militants holed up to surrender," he said.


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