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Pakistan clerics declare suicide bombings un-Islamic

October 14, 2008 17:12 IST

A conference of Islamic clerics from across Pakistan issued a fatwa on Tuesday declaring suicide bombings 'un-Islamic'.

The edict issued unanimously by the Muttahida Ulema Council during a meeting at the Jamia Naeemia in Lahore [Images] is significant as it came in the wake of devastating suicide bomb attacks in the country that have claimed hundreds of lives.

Suicide bombers linked to the Pakistani Taliban [Images] have struck at heavily guarded targets like high-value military installations in the garrison city of Rawalpindi and the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad [Images].

While declaring suicide attacks as un-Islamic, the members of the Muttahida Ulema Council called on the government to prevent such attacks. The clerics also said the government should stop operations in Pakistan's tribal areas and conduct negotiations with people there to end militancy, TV channels reported.

The council said it was the government's responsibility to call for a jihad or holy war, and any person or groups that have called for jihad had acted by themselves and this was not correct. A majority of the clerics spoke out against calls for jihad by certain groups.

The clerics also said former President Pervez Musharraf's [Images] pacts with the US should be made public. At the same time, they called on the Pakistan government to support Iran, saying it was a better ally than the US.

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